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October 31, 2009



- Counter-insurgency: 40,000 troops.
- Counter-terrorism: 20,000 troops.
- Really strong and tenacious wishful thinking: 0 troops.


utter idiots.


Obama is not a war person. You know, in his heart of hearts, that he thinks war is bad. Even the premise of his famous speech "I'm not against war, I am against stupid war" indicated that the non-stupid wars were the non-controversial (now) wars of the past, like WWII.
In that speech, the most he could muster to say about Afghanistan was:

I don’t oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

Which is the kind of thing the "international police action!" crowd was saying at the time.

I don't know what he'll decide. He doesn't think countries should hold themselves above each other, and he isn't a very emotional/empathetic man. Most of all, I bet he can't believe he's in charge of 2 wars, and would really just like to get them over with.

Steve C.

Kind of convenient that they forgot the reason the service chiefs were generally opposed to the Surge. Casey as Army Chief of Staff, is charged with total Army readiness. In his opinion adding 30,000 troops was going to place a terrible strain on total Army readiness. And possibly not yield the results that were promised.

Which highlights to me the greatest failing of Bush and Rumsfeld. They should have immediately increased the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps by 100,000 in 2002.


The only plus side I can see in dithering and leaving the troops here at home is that at home they at least have the possibility of their votes being counted during elections. Overseas, forget about it.

Original MikeS

The Weekly Standard has a great piece on the military aspects of Obama's reduced commitment to Afghanistan.


He is a continued inspiration.


Casey was a terrible disappointment in Iraq and probably the person most responsible for the lack of progress and growth of the insurgency in the last half of 2005 through 2006. I'm sure his garrison mentality has only increased as Army Chief of Staff.


Even the premise of his famous speech "I'm not against war, I am against stupid war" indicated that the non-stupid wars were the non-controversial (now) wars of the past, like WWII.

That is invariably the lefty take (unless they're honest enough to admit they're pacifists). "I'm not against all wars, just this war." Then they pick and choose their "good" wars and it's never the one going.


Great post! Keep up the excellent work!!

ps. Link Exchange??


Apparently Obama still hasn't identified some "false choices" that he can denounce in favor of "taking bold action" of his own invention.


Perhaps the troops being held back from AfPak are going to be needed in Iran?

On the other hand, do we really have air support ready for another 40,000 troops?

Charlie (Colorado)

Which highlights to me the greatest failing of Bush and Rumsfeld. They should have immediately increased the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps by 100,000 in 2002.

How? Magic?

One of the frustrating things about the new all-volunteer Army is that it's, well, all-volunteer: you have to get a hundred thousand new volunteers — actually, more than a hundred thousand, since some of them won't make it, will wash out after injuries, will be killed in training. Turns out that the Army and Marines together recruit about 118,000 new people every year, just to keep stead state — so you're insisting that DoD should double their recruiting.

The second bad thing is that you can't give a kid a gin and six weeks of basic and put him in combat any more; it's a skilled trade, and takes more like a year start to finish.


Heh, though giving him a gin (lime-tonic, please) is likely to keep his mind... contentedly lubricated, shall we say?

Charlie (Colorado)

Sorry, that is more of a nacy recruiting technique, isn't it?


Not a gin. Woody Allen's note to the bank teller called it a gub.


ah, that's classic, sbw, that up intoBananas
was Allen's funny period, than he went all morose, and creepy for at least the next 20 years

Charlie (Colorado)


UN Nuclear Expert's Death not Suiide


What did you call it, Clarice, the
'defenestration division' of the IAEA, I just call it the 'red shirts'


Hey, Chaco--are you typing with Clarice's steel mesh gloves?


C'mon Boatbuilders. We JOMers are the most skilkful typist on the planet.


Maybe you were going for the lateCongressman
Lantos's advice to Craig Livingston, "at least, Admiral Boorda committed suicide"


PD--I think that you're giving short shrift to the Luciferians. But "Presidebt" was obviously the product of divine inspiration.


BB, and let's not forget carp.


The carp is thriving under the administration of the Presidebt.


And I'm very worried about the Presidebt's position on gin control, to be honest about it.

JM Hanes

"our Group Facilitator-in-Chief has finally found competing factions between which he can mediate."

LOL! It doesn't get better than that, TM.


"I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again."

He was just too busy, what with working out and all, to fit in a visit to the recruiter's office at the time.

Gregory Koster

Chaco, my turn to ask for clarification:

"The second bad thing is that you can't give a kid a gin and six weeks of basic and put him in combat any more; it's a skilled trade, and takes more like a year start to finish."

That's too close to the Lefty argument that drilling for oil in ANWR wouldn't do any good because it would take ten years to get the oil and we need it faster than that. In 2002 it was exceedingly likely that the US would need troops, and many of them. Want more? You'd better get going then.

You are bang right about asking how are these troops to be enlisted. Geo. W. answered the question by ducking it, pressing for volunteers. This was the result. We've had better luck in Iraq than such a civilian effort deserved. I still disagree with your implication that Iraq is a great success, that we've given Iraq back to its people with a working democracy. No. Iraq today is much closer to West Germany in 1951, say, with an elected self-government that is seriously restricted by foreign powers. Iraq is a provisional success, with a very good chance of becoming a complete one. Please note: "pretty good" does not mean "sure thing."

So how to get the troops that are needed? I can only see one way: a draft. That implies a war, complete with declaration and the knowledge that many men will die. Not the pretend "Authorization to Use Military Force" that is far more Congressional rump covering, allowing the Left to bail out later, bawling Geo. W. misled us. I can't guarantee that a declaration would have won the conflict against radical Islam. But I think the odds would have been much better. I can see no better way to tell the world the nation is serious than a declaration, complete with draft (no exemptions) and a real wartime footing, not mall expeditions.

This is a harsh prescription. But I'll stick with Charles Evans Hughes who said "The power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully." How well does Iraq look when you consider what remains to be done? Has the success of Iraq made the conflict in Afghanistan any easier? Are those the only two possible adversaries in this conflict on terror? Before you start roaring again that I'm advocating genocide, remember that today is Halloween. You'll scare yourself conjuring up such bogeymen. You want to scare the enemy, to the point where the enemy stops attacking us, remember? I don't think the method you proposed will work well in this case, because the conflict with terror doesn't have nations fighting. Ask Israel, which has been walloping Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah for years, doing things that would make you shriek. Yet for all the ruthlessness they've shown, Israel has never been able to get to an assured peace. What's the answer?


Doesn't Israel have a draft, Greg, isn't it required for every able bodied man and woman
to serve at least for a time in the IDF. Doesn't that defeat your argument in part.

why did the media left, spend so much time implying that Bush was going to reinstate the draft, why did Rangel keep introducing
said bill. Recall that the Phillipine war, which was the largest suchcounterinsurgency operation at the time, didn't require one,
Now there may come a time, whenconscription is reintroduced, but I don't see it any time soon.

JM Hanes


"So how to get the troops that are needed? I can only see one way: a draft. That implies a war, complete with declaration and the knowledge that many men will die."

I'd be working on a Plan B, if I were you.


As I recall, this is not WWI or WWII--draftees are a pain in the ass and not worth the money you don't pay them.

E. Nigma

Someone should probably tell Mr. Obama that most wars are "stupid". It is stupid to spend so much time and energy pursuing large scale homicide of your fellow man, usually strangers that you don't know. If you want a full dose of stupid, read about how the Soviets fought against the Germans in WWII.

But war has been the curse of Mankind since the dawn of recorded history. After reading VDH's "A War Like No Other" about the Peloponnesian war, it's hard to believe that so many allegedly smart people did so many stupid things for so long, that were ultimately self destructive. But it's all true! Wait, there's more! As Bokonon said in "Cat's Cradle", "History, read it and weep!"
So Mr. President, this is the only war we've got, and the two campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are just separate fronts in the war against a foe that this President and the last one couldn't even publicly name very often. Just remember the trouble that Bush got into when he tried to start using the term "Islamofascism"?
Lastly, our President should understand that this is a continuation of a war between Islam and the West that has been going on for well nigh 1300 years, with periods of peace that sometimes lasted up to a hundred years. We probably can't win this round unless somehow somebody can actually impose a Carthaginian peace on the Islamic world, but we can at least discourage and kill the most extreme cases until the Saudis run out of oil money and they become more decadent and pacific.
We live in interesting times, don't we?

Sara (Pal2Pal)

A draft? Are you nuts? The last thing we need is a bunch of illiterate h.s. drop outs running all the high tech it takes to run a war or any kind of op these days.

Steve C.

How do you raise end strength by 100,000? First you start by getting congressionsal authorization and funding. Then you go out and recruit, train and equip them. Unsurprisingly, as recently as 1991 the Army's end strength was 800,000 compared to 570,000 in 2003.

We have been doing this for over 200 years. Yes, it would take some time, but I think raising another 3 divisions over 36 months (2002-2005) is feasible. And that would have given us much more strategic flexibility.


So Abdallah who is supposedly in favor of the MacCrystal plan is going to boycott the
second round, so that gives Obama a new excuse not to do anything, no urgency there.

When did we raise a great army except during
the Civil WAr, WW One and two, and during
the Cold War. Eisenhower was thrifty focusing on nukes and covert action over the military. The navy was the big project
both in TR's and Reagan's time. Rumsfeld was always having fights with the army over
weapon systems, not so much personnel issues


Obama has found the secret to expanding the military (if he wanted to expand it): The depression is creating large numbers of indigents "volunteers" who need the job.


Look how close Code Pink got to the White House Halloween guests. Check out the sign that says BUSH'S WAR. Any questions now?

Caption: Members of the protest group Code Pink taunt local school children with chants about the war in Afghanistan as the children and their families arrive for a Halloween reception by U.S. President Barack Obama and his family at the White House in Washington, October 31, 2009.

Gregory Koster

Clarice, if you are right, what is different about the Civil and World Wars I & II? None could have been won without draftees. The only answer I can think of is that these three wars were to the death of nations in a way that the Spanish-American, Mexican, Korea, and Vietnam were not.

So the question now is: is the conflict on terror an existential war, or one that we can make no special effort at, because the consequences of a draw or even a loss aren't that great? I say, no. The conflict on terror is an existential war, with nebulous enemies, and all the more dangerous for that. In my view, it will require every resource and will to be won. Chaco did not agree with me in a different thread. He proclaims the Palmerstonian view, that by Nation A hitting Nation B hard enough, Nation B will stop attacking or provoking A in B's own interests. Chaco may think I am oversimplifying here, and is welcome to correct me.

If I've stated it correctly, I think it will fail. The joker is that there are no "nations" in terrorism in the same way there are in conventional war. Again, I point to Israel which has been hitting Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah far more ruthlessly than anything America has tried for thirty years. They've survived, but in a state of siege. Is that what we want for this nation? Or do we adopt the Left's view that terrorism will go away if we retreat, i.e. Code Pink's view?

Robert Heinlein had a fine argument against conscription, saying that any society that had to rely on conscription not only didn't deserve to survive, but wuold not have the internal cohesion to do so. It's a powerful, liberty-defending argument, but I think it fails when a society is in an existential war. As Sara has pointed out, modern war is complex enough that soldiers, sailors and the skyward ho! gang can't be raised overnight. Heinlein is right that a great danger of conscription is the power it gives the state over the citizen. But the outside antagonist is a threat too. This nation has raised great armies in the past, and still survived afterward. Freedoms have disappeared. You cannot refuse a Social Security number in today's society. But is the real danger of state power in the US from the military side these days? Or from an arrogant, wilful civil side that sees a chance to force utopia down everyone's throat, justified by perverted science or theories of justice? Or yet again, attacks from abroad leading to sharia? Can it happen here? The signs from Europe don't look encouraging. I find it horrifying that Malmo, in Sweden, has "no-go" Islamic areas in the last ten years. Mark Steyn's writing have consistently beat this drum, titling his big book AMERICA ALONE.

Sara, you might be right about me being nuts. Isn't your view of a draft a caricature? You can always set standards high. Moreover, with no exemptions, the universities and the Phi Bets will have to come forward as well as the ones you have in mind.

This leads us to the next question: what sort of conflict should be fought? If it's not existential, the draft would likely be as counterproductive as you say. In that case, does the present management of the conflict in, say, Afghanistan, suit you? How about Iraq from 2004-06? Could that period's management be justified if the soldiers fighting had been draftees from every corner and strata of this nation? The drawback to a volunteer army is that it can allow "executive wars," in which the Executive can can conduct the conflict without the public being exceptionally disturbed. A declaration of war and a draft serves notice on the citizenry that they're in a war up to their necks, and had better fight for their lives. America has won every single war fought this way. Otherwise, the record is decidely mixed.

I think what really bothers you (correct me if I'm wrong) is the political risk. This is why Charlie Rangel snickered whenever he introduced a bill to restart the draft. He thought that any serious consideration would create a public outcry, and slaughter the GOP. He might have been right. Do you agree with him? if so, aren't you both in the Stanley Baldwin Baldwin fought Winston Churchill's attempts at rearmament all through the 1930s, openly expressing his fear that such attempts would lead to electoral suicide. He, too, might have been right. But the great harvest this brought Britain was biblical, just like the ones in ancient Egypt.

If you are satisfied that the conflict on terror is going well, as ChaCo appears to think in Iraq, or in Afghanistan the label of "nuts" will stick to me. JMH, I don't have a plan B? Do you? Most of this writing is questions to which I don't have easy answers, and even the tough ones may be wrong. But I think at a time when this nation is facing a period of mortal danger that it may not even see, it's better to be yell and be thought nuts than sit on the sidelines like Mitt Romney and be quiet and safe. For the time being.

Ann, I do have a question: what's the point of our post? I'm puzzled, not being snide. Under Geo. W., no one would have thought Code Pink would have had any influence at the White House. But today? No one knows. The Once seems to me a colossal disaster and such photos are great evidence of the danger he's capable of causing us. I should think this means blow the trumpet and put the country on a war footing. So far, not much agreement from JOMers, who are using what seem to me to be Lefty attitudes to say I'm wrong. I say this humbly; the cast of JOM has a high average. But with conviction; I don't understand the notion that talking about the draft is too dam dangerous politically at the moment, and simultaneously touting Sarah Palin, a conviction politician if ever there was one.


On a funnier note, I actually think Michelle has never looked better. That no belt thing is a keeper but Jim Treacher thinks otherwise:


Jim Treacher tweet caption: "I'm gonna kill youuuuuuuu!!"


And my late night post on Obama's Halloween attire is:


He went as himself...Evil Eyes!

(That is not a photo-shopped picture, btw)

Come on PUK, help me here and say hello. We are worried. (I bet he went off somewhere after his favorite Gordon Brown treason of the week to scout out our Island)

Sara (Pal2Pal)

You are acting like you think our military mission has any resemblance to the missions of previous wars where astronomical numbers were needed as cannon fodder, I mean front line operations.

I haven't checked in the last couple of months, but the last I looked the services were meeting and/or exceeding enlistment goals.

We don't need a bunch of Ph.Ds either. It is a very liberal point of view to assume that our military of today is staffed by uneducated dolts who are basically losers who can't make it in the private sector. In truth, our average service member is better educated than the general population and is more likely to have gone on to some kind of advanced education before joining.

The Navy requires at least a h.s. diploma and prefers at least 2 years of college for their enlisted and the average officer has college plus grad school background.

My husband was Intake Officer for 5 years at Navy Recruit Depot, San Diego and was responsible for weeding out the less than desirable. And the batteries of tests these new recruits are subjected to in order to determine their aptitudes is way beyond what any college entrance requires. Then it is usually a year or more of intensive schooling and training. I'm talking 8 hours a day, 5 days a week of class room time and hands on training. (When my husband decided to go back to school and finish his education as an engineer, they gave him 3 full years of college credit for his many hours of Navy schools he'd taken over the years.)

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Gregory: You are talking to someone whose husband was career Navy, 26 years, so I probably have a different perspective. He joined voluntarily when the draft was still operable. He was there when it was abolished. His view, the quality of the services took a giant leap forward when they became all volunteer. The benefits aren't all in the quality/education of recruits, but in attitude and attitude is 90% of success.

Also, the Navy, by virtue of its ships, planes and submarines requires mostly a force of skilled labor, especially those skilled in electronics, but repair types are also highly prized - the engineers, the carpenters, the welders, tool and die specialists, firefighters, and not to forget the whole aviation and aviation support, etc. You don't pull many of these skilled types with a draft.

Gone are the days when a single battle could result in thousands of dead, such as was seen during WWII, WWI, the Civil War. Even in Iraq, the major casualties weren't in any battles of large amassed forces. Most of our casualties have been as a result of IEDs, homicide bombers, and the like.

If we let our military do what it does best - WIN - we'll do just fine. The only war we've so-called lost was lost because civilians in Congress cut off funding and then set about the politics of personal destruction against them. Now this same mindset is in power again and, never learning from their mistakes because they have no respect for the military, they are getting ready to do the same thing all over again. They make me sick!

Charlie (Colorado)

That's too close to the Lefty argument that drilling for oil in ANWR wouldn't do any good because it would take ten years to get the oil and we need it faster than that. In 2002 it was exceedingly likely that the US would need troops, and many of them. Want more? You'd better get going then.

Imagine how much typing you could have saved had you not written "immediately" to start with.

Now, my understanding is that it would take several years, perhaps as much as five, to add 40,000 combat ready troops. It's not going to be linear, but 100,000 will take a little bit longer, so "immediately" in this context might additional combat strenth would be coming on line this year.

Charlie (Colorado)

GK, the problem is basic lack of knoledge here. Just skimming — I should have been in bed hours ago — but there are several points here that just seem contrary to fact:

(1) the notion that terrorist groups can operate without some kind of state to support them, or at least tolerate them. I see very little evidence of that; I certainly can't think of an example of an effective terror group without a state supporter.

(2) The notion that the Israelis are particularly harsh on Hezbullah etc. This is proposed, mostly in the MSM and further left, but in fact the Israelis are generally among the most careful, up to and including literally calling the homes they're about to blow up in order to give people a chance to leave.

(3) The short version of "what about the draft" is simply this: we don't fight wars that way any more. The actual method of war fighting has changed as radically as it changed between the War of 1812 and the American Civil War; Saddam and Iran fought a standing battle siege and trench war to a standstill for eight years. Saddam set up to fight a siege and trench war against the US in perfectly traditional fashion; we were in Bagdad almost before he had his pants on.

The key here is that the US military doesn't want a draft army. They have good reasons for doing so, just like the Navy is more interested in ForceNET than in building a lot of big additional carriers.

There's more but I want to go to bed and I just watched my computer go from 1:57 to 1:14 while I've been typing. (Which still strikes me as kinda cool.) But it just really seems to come out to the sort of natter that comes from a lot of thinking based on not nearly a big enough store of knowledge.


Any theories on this Air America-Special Air Service powwow?


Am just hearing reported that the other runoff candidate in Afghan (not Karzai) has just announced he will not run in the runoff election as a candidate. If I understand this correctly this means there will be no runoff election. Karzai is now the effective winner of the Presidential election. So will have to see how that changes the Admin's position to not make a troop decision until after the runoff election which was to occur on I believe 11 November.


And another surprise from the UK's ">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/6475092/Revealed-Lockerbie-bomber-defies-doctors-prediction-of-death.html"> Telegraph.
Remember that released Lockerbie Bomber that the Press created all that Obama fake outrage about. Today that paper reports that 3 months after his release on humanitarian reasons, the murderer of 212 is defying the doctor's prognosis:

"Megrahi, who is suffering terminal prostate cancer, was sent home to Libya to die after medical experts concluded in a report on July 30 he had just three months left to live. The time span was crucial because only prisoners with three months or less to survive are eligible for release on compassionate grounds.

But three months on from Prof Sikora's diagnosis, Megrahi is well enough to "walk and talk" and shows no sign of deterioration, according to a senior source involved in his release.
The source told The Sunday Telegraph: "His condition has not deteriorated in three months. He is pretty much in the same way as he was when this all started. He is just as he was. There is nothing that leads anyone to believe he is in any different condition to when he left Scotland."

Perhaps the wonderful free Health care system that they have in Britain and which we will soon adopt in the US, misdiagnosed him. Or better yet, maybe getting away from it improved his chances.

Anyhow, in other news, President Obama was outraged and furious when he learned about this tomorrow.

Jack is Back!

Good Morning JOMers.

Did you set your clock back?

First things, first. Abdullah has pulled a Dede and dropped out of the runoff. So much for dithering.

Then we have this new "kick the bums out" movement called GOOOH.


I really don't understand Abdullah's motive.


Wow, Frank Rich has himself (and, apparently, a large staff of researchers, each combing the net for links) seriously wee wee'd up over the NY-23 race, or Sarah Palin.


GK. I went to bed but see that Chaco nicely carried the torch.


"Oh Clarice, I have some very bad news for you. Peter passed away last week. I think it was a heart attack but we are waiting for the corner's report to confirm it.

As soon as I have news I will let you."

I have asked to be informed of any memorial to PUK and whether there is any charity he specified he'd like donations to be sent to.

I know you all share my grief at the passing of this lovely, witty man who brightened so many of our hours with his wit and intelligence. Peter, a fantastic guitarist, was one of the Manchester/Liverpool musicians who so changed modern music, His name is in bronze in several places on the wall in Liverpool honoring the best of them. He played with the Fourtones, the Quarryboys,the Hollies etc.http://www.manchesterbeat.com/index.php
That site has a memorial page you can use to write to him.

Here's a video of him playing which I cannot find right now but will post if I do find it.


Here is the cite to the Tribute Page for PUK where you can leave a note in his memory and read more about the old darling's life..


Hallowed he was.

I know Peter died happy and I know we were a big part of that.

Melinda  Romanoff


That is sad news.

I know he is resting in peace and poking someone's eye.


Oh how sad for all us - PUK always made me laugh.

Thank you Clarice for the link to the tribute page. The photo caption says it was taken 18 months ago, so a fairly recent picture of him.

And I could hear it all the way over here.

My main memory is the powerful sound he had.


abdullah dropping put has Iranian fongerprints all over it.


Here is our wonderful PeterUK celebrating a recent birthday.


Oh, this is just so sad. Bless him. What wonderful humor and insight and taste he had.


Clarice, you were right to be worried and thank you for following up. And did we know that Halloween was PUK's birthday?

The JOM family will miss him. I wonder if any of his friends know of this parallel life he shared with us. I am grateful that he did.

unɹ puɐ ʇıɥ

Oh Lord.

You always were and always will be my favorite, PUK. There will never be another like you. You will never be forgotten and will always be remembered with joy. Even though for now it is through tears.


So sorry to hear of PeterUK's passing. His knowledge and wit will be missed.


Oh how sad. I will really miss PUK's insight and humor. Thanks for all the links everyone, and for finding out Clarice. Just so sad. What a privilege to meet such nice people here at JOM.


Very sorry to hear this. And he was a relatively young man. It seems that he kept his humor and spirit despite chronic health problems.


He had a hard life . His father had died in the war and I think he and his mother struggled on together. He's told of her death and the horrid treatment she received at the hands of the NHS. His own health problems limited his career--he needed a walker to move about so tours were too difficult, but he never gave up playing his guitar and as we know he never lost his great sense of humor or his sharp intelligence.
I know we aren't alone in mourning his passing.


With PeterUK's passing, my life has lost a light. The grief I feel, I admit, is selfish, because the pleasure in his acquaintance was all mine.

His wit was more than entertainment for me; it was a shield used to defend us against assault by the witless and a weapon to slay the worst of ideas.

He wore is genius so lightly many of us never knew his accomplishments. He had come to achieve the wisdom of experience, and kindly shared it with us lest we forget the vigilance needed to protect liberty from ourselves and others.

A sad day, and yet so fortunate are we to have had Peter Bocking for a time.


sbw, As usual you said it better than I could. It would be so nice if you'd post that on his memorial page.

Jack is Back!

A good man of great wit, humor and intelligence.

Take good care of him St. Peter, he deserves white glove service.

May his soul rest in peace.


I was about to suggest the same thing, Clarice.


A really cool photo of PUK when he was probably in his 30s.


A wonderful man, and a great loss.

Here's a recent one of his many contributions to our enjoyment.

Thank you Peter.

Captain Hate

Oh this is horrible news. Such a talented yet modest man; I knew he was somebody of musical significance from what Clarice posted in the past (and his responses to some of my comments) yet he wore it with such anonymity, the likes of which is so rare in our celebrity-besotted times. JOM won't be the same without his incredible wit. I feel honored to have interacted with him.

Potomac Joe

I've only commented here a few times, but I've been reading JOM daily for several years.

So please allow me to speak for the lurkers:

Rest in peace, PUK. You will be missed.


I am so sad. We love you PUK. We really love you.

Keep an eye on us okay?


Caro was looking for an archived thread (12-21-08), which I found for her and in so doing, I read through it . . .

sbw's photo, Sarah's photo, and carpe diem are showing up with their comments instead of the colored boxes. Too cool!

Why don't they show up on current threads?


If anyone is still reading this thread I summed up the major screw we are experiencing in Afghanistan. LUN. It is looking very, very bad.


No no no no no no no.
I will not have this.

Oh, PeterUK, I hope you know how we adored you.

Gregory Koster

Clarice, CentralCal, many thanks for this grim news. Not knowing would have cast a pall. What a punch in the gut. PUK was an ornament to JOM.

JM Hanes

I posted to PUK's memorial page, but they say it may take a couple of days for messages to show up.

PUK is the second from the left in this photo from a page about the Fourtones back in the late 50's early 60's. (See Page 15).


Fresh Air

Halloween would have been his 67th birthday, apparently.

JM Hanes

Here he is in the photo ccal linked, from 1971:

PUK in 1971


Oh thank you, JMH! I was hoping someone would come along that knew how to insert photos into comments.

Can't have a proper memorial to our friend without a great picture!

JM Hanes

Here's a little vignette that I loved from Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography:

In addition to undergoing a name change, it was inevitable that Nash and Clarke would eventually expand beyond a duo. Yet they were so enthralled with the Everly Brothers that the idea of actually forming a whle band came from another source. Pete Bocking, a local, guitarist, came to the Nash home one night, electric guitar in hand. "Pete Bocking" Nash sighs. "Very weird man. He was bald at twelve. Lived with his mother. All he did was play guitar all day and all night. Consequently, he could play all the hip solos. He could be Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Check Berry. He could be everybody rolled into one.
He may have still been playing his guitar all day, but he's had a secret nightlife for years!


His wit was more than entertainment for me; it was a shield used to defend us against assault by the witless and a weapon to slay the worst of ideas.

A perfect description. When the morons came, as often they do, I always counted on Peter to ride in and deflect them with his customary ease and wit and great confidence.


(( The grief I feel, I admit, is selfish, because the pleasure in his acquaintance was all mine.))

Well said sbw.

E. Nigma

Occasional commenter, long time reader.

PeterUK (Peter Bocking) was an extremely witty and wise man. For those lucky few here who knew him well, my deepest condolences.
God rest this good man's soul.

The rest of us slackers had better step up and start being a lot funnier and wittier, to keep up to his standard.

Thanks Peter. Thanks for everything.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Newt's Tweet this morning:

“Scozzafava dropping out leaves hoffman as only anti-tax anti-pelosi vote in ny 23 Every voter opposed to tax increases support doug hoffman,”

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Peter was truly a well informed, fun and erudite man. It is not surprising that he was a very talented, accomplished, musician. But it is remarkable for someone that accomplished to be mostly self-taught.

We were truly blessed to have been exposed to his sparkling wit and fine, analytical mind.

RIP, PUK. Hoist one for the JOMers, and God bless you!



God full of mercy who dwells on high
Grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence
In the lofty heights of the holy and pure
who shine as the brightness of the heavens
to the soul of PUK.

who has gone to his eternal rest
as all his family and friends
pray for the elevation of his soul.
His resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
Therefore, the Master of mercy will care for him
under the protection of His wings for all time
And bind his soul in the bond of everlasting life.
God is his inheritance and he will rest in peace
and let us say Amen.


The Manchesterbeat tribute page administrator writes:
"Pete was a major figure in the history of Manchester music of the sixties. Sadly, he did not find commercial success, whereas many other less able musicians did. However, he had a long and varied career in music, doing exactly what he loved. Few of us can say that!

A tribute may not be exactly what he would wish – so I hope he’s not too disapproving. However, he will be greatly missed by so many."


Godspeed PUK.


Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

I think, though, that "peace" includes some rip-roaring good partying in heaven recently!


Did Rumsfeld really keep pushing his generals to come up with a plan for less troops?


"But three months on from Prof Sikora's diagnosis, Megrahi is well enough to "walk and talk" and shows no sign of deterioration, according to a senior source involved in his release."

This should not be a surprise since the one specialist that said he was dying was not a specialist in the required field.


now i've one less thing to look forward to in the morning, forever. hail and farewell, Peter.

LTC John

To any thought of a draft I can only say -No, no, no, a thousand times no!

Nobody forced into serving would be worth having. To much depends on the willingness to learn, try really damned hard things, accept privation and possible wounds or death to make an effective US servicemember.

I don't want anyone who was told to join or go to jail in the US Army. Let the forced to join stay in the Somali militias.

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