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View Diary: Was Bowe Bergdahl "going Galt"? (Cue Teapublican heads exploding.) (188 comments)

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  •  "Going Galt" implies that he was depriving... (13+ / 0-)

    ...a larger group than his unit of something important, like Galt's electrical converter. Bergdahl was only depriving his unit of his presence.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 10:51:40 PM PDT

    •  And? What's more important than human company? (8+ / 0-)

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:17:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The phrase has taken on a larger meaning (17+ / 0-)

      in contemporary circles. Google it if you want to.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at www.makingsenseofpsychiatry.com

      by candid psychiatrist on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 11:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bergdahl story is mostly political (22+ / 0-)

        Those who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are ready to castrate him, and those who truly love our grunts are willing to hear the whole story before condemning.

        I agree with most of the diary, however, I do not agree that "It could only have been done by someone with self-destructive urges, or one who was driven toward spiritual surrender."

        This Berghahl story is much like the Pat Tillman story. The pro-football player who believe the pro-war propaganda, and gave up a contract worth $milliions to serve in the war. Bergdahl, like Tillman volunteered for war based on pro-war propaganda.

        Sadly no soldier, or veteran can really know about the terrorism of war unless you actually serve on the front line, and can see how lives becomes worthless, and valueless in wars. Those who get to experience the horror while wearing a uniform have a terrible enigma.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:51:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, let us not forget the Pat Tillman story. (6+ / 0-)

          I was just explaining it to a young person recently.

          We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

          by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:52:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So...one assumes that you also explained the (0+ / 0-)

            friendly fire too.
            Unfortunately for me, I have experienced the reality of combat first hand. Lots of it. Now I(and those closest to me),
            live with the lingering effects many years later.

            The political fiasco that has developed around Bowe Bergdahl
            is truely disgusting. Should he have been in the armed forces
            to begin with ? In my opinion, no. A combat arms branch ?
            Definately not.

            Does his mental state excuse his walking away ? I am afraid
            I don't know the answer but I think he should be held accountable for his strolling away. Others depended on him to be there and he did leave.

            As to the "thumb in the eye of the Libertarian Right" ,
            as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer guys. Idiots actually.

      •  Are you seriously diagnosing this young man based (0+ / 0-)

        solely on  information you have read about him? My, My, My!

        Have you seen Bergdahl and, have you ever talked to him ?  Even though we do not yet have a clear picture of what he did are you are saying that you not only know what he did you even seem to be saying you even know why he did what you say he did ?

        Incredible! Have you shared this information with DOD and the Sec. of State?  

    •  Urm. (64+ / 0-)

      If you read Atlas Shrugged, that's exactly the point of going galt. Denying your presence as a superman to the untermenschen who will starve without you because they're stupid and incapable parasites.

      Not my thoughts, but Rands.

      Denying your presence is the purpose of going galt in that damned book.

      Which I finally finished.

      Ugh.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why. WHY would you do that to yourself. (17+ / 0-)

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Know your enemy. (25+ / 0-)

          That's why I finally slogged through The Fountainhead last summer and will get around to Atlas Shrugged sooner rather than later.

        •  I'm considering writing a novel in response. (8+ / 0-)

          With maglevs and everything. Some colony world goes into a time of economic chaos and the local "we think we're supermans" crowd takes over. What happens next is where things get ideologically interesting.

          But no author filibuster, because seriously, that book turned from "Who is John Galt" to "When will John Galt shut the hell up?!"

          Basically, my novel will set out to ask and answer the question: What would the world look like after a Randist revolution.

          I'm pretty critical of the character of Ragnar Danneskjold. He makes no fucking sense. None whatsoever. Not from a Randist perspective.

          "I'm going to do a lot of hard, dangerous work attacking government shipping with no expectation of reward and simply give the produce of my work to other people."

          THAT IS NOT HOW HUMANS WORK.

          The only parallel example I can give is what the Japanese thought of WWII when they were fighting it.

          It's laid out very clearly in the movie Emperor (Alternate title: A love letter to MacArthur, who should totes have been prez). In the scene I'm quoting, Hirohito is talking to General MacArthur:

          Yes, we seized territory in China, but did not Great Britain, even Portugal, precede us? Yes, we took Singapore and the Malaya, but we took it from the British. We did not take the Philippines from the Filipinos, but from the Americans, who themselves took it from the Spanish. If it is an international crime to take territory by force, who convicted the British, French, Dutch, and American leaders?

          Nobody.

          And what is different with Japan?

          Nothing.

          You see, General, we are simply following your fine example.

          Or as a very right-wing friend of mine who lives in Japan once said about Japan's thinking at the time: "China, India, The Philippines, Malaysia, the only two nations that weren't colonized at the time were us, and Thailand. Japan and Thailand were next. So we thought 'If Asia is going to be colonized, it damn well better be colonized by Asians, not by Europeans who have no business being there in the first place.'"

          That's how a character like Ragnar would likely think if he were a person and not a randbot sent to do the will of rand because WHO IS JOHN GALT.

          But there isn't a single person in the entire book who says "The world is broken, so fuck the rules, I'm going to do what I want to do, and everyone is too incompetent to stop me."

          There's no place for realism in Rand's world, and there's no one in the entire books who is actually motivated by self interest. They're all motivated by devotion to a particular set of political ideals.

          As some guy on the internet once said:

          Libertarianism is like Leninism: a fascinating, internally consistent political theory with some good underlying points that, regrettably, makes prescriptions about how to run human society that can only work if we replace real messy human beings with frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density.
          What happens when rand's pretty libertarian system comes in contact with real, messy human beings who have motives other than economic growth and monetary profit?

          What happens if some of those people are radical political ideologues of a different philosophy? What happens when some of them are complete monsters? What happens when some of them are so culturally different as to function with a blue/orange morality system that throws your black/white metrics for a spin?

          And what happens when a Randist government that "Opposes Force" actually attempts to rule that kind of hot mess?

          What happens when these folks take power and expect everything to work out perfectly because libertarianism = utopia?

          In order to understand how to respond, I need to understand what I'm responding to.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

          by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:08:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  because, one section aside, it is a good SF novel (0+ / 0-)

          One I reread every now and then.

          Rand was a quite decent writer with some brilliant ability to plot.  See Night of Jan 16th or a murder short story I can't recall the title of.

      •  You know... (6+ / 0-)

        self-flagellation would have been easier and less painful. I've picked up that book dozens of times and can't get past the first few pages.

        As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport. - Black Adder "Chains"

        by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:36:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Untermenschen wiki: (5+ / 0-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazis used it to describe "inferior people" often referred to as "the masses from the East"
      •  As I usually like to point out during this topic (8+ / 0-)

        Most of the right fancies themselves to be John Galt or Dagny Taggart when in fact they are Jim Taggart or something even less.

        AS is really an odd utopian piece (or dystopia I guess if you are one of the excluded parasites), because hardly anyone in power acts the way the heroes do. As an aside, she sure is great at creating and destroying those poor strawmen.

        Misconduct by the government is by definition NOT a government secret.

        by Doug in SF on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:44:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been saying that for years. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nancyjones, OllieGarkey, trillian

          Those "Randian" Wall Street VC douchebags are Jim Taggart, not Galt.

          But then I actually read the damn book :-)  

          The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

          by raboof on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:52:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read it, too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, Jahiegel

            which is why I rarely if ever join in the "discussions" on this site about her writing.  Her work was far more intelligent than the cartoonish commentary I read widely here.  I choose to believe that the commenters have not read her work or, like someone said above, read it so grudgingly that they will never forgive her the 7 or 8 hours of their life they spent reading.  

            I pity people like that... I find it pathetic that anyone who is disappointed with their own choice in how to spend their free time would blame such disappointment on anything other than their own poor choice.  

            I never finished Moby Dick.  I did finish All the Kings Men but resented every minute (I read it for a grade in school.) I hate both books, they do nothing for me, and I have no wish to waste my time reading then.  I don't blame Melville or Warren for wasting the time I spent trying to like it, I chose to read them, I take full responsibility for that choice. Nor do I despise people who read them all the way through and love or hate them .  In fact, I defer to them.Having never finished reading Moby Dick and having resented reading All the King's Men, I have no standing to comment on either's efficacy.  

            With regard to Rand's work, I have read much of it, many books more than once.  It is clear that some who comment here have, too, and I frequently find their points of view interesting and thought provoking.  For the most part, though, it seems to me that the large majority of people who post here about Rand's work (and the Bible, too, for that matter) have never seriously read it and are just jumping on the "Ayn Rand is evil incarnate, yeah, she's the mother of all tea partiers" bandwagon.  And that's just as boring as Benghazi.

            If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

            by nancyjones on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:32:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I respectfully disagree. (0+ / 0-)
              Her work was far more intelligent than the cartoonish commentary I read widely here.
              I have to disagree with this in the strongest terms.

              None of her characters are remotely human, at all. I can understand not liking Melville or All the Kings Men (the latter of which I haven't finished and need to find so that I can finish it, thanks for remind me.)

              There is not a single character who behaves as a human being would. Directive "Directive 10-289" is the most moronic thing that has ever been put to paper.

              I have never in my life as a leftist heard anyone advocate a single viewpoint remotely close to what Ayn Rand believes the left actually thinks.

              Her characters are inherently contradictory. We are told that they act primarily in their own self interest, when to the contrary, they universally act for the benefit of a particular political worldview. But Ragnar as the prime example gains nothing from his actions. He is putting his life in danger, routinely, and does not profit from it. Characters who wished to act in their own self interest would not be beholden to Ayn's philosophies in their actions, they would not behave as political paragons.

              They would behave as people. Messy, conflicted, people, instead of like neutered Nietzschean Übermenschen.

              And that's my main contention with Rand.

              She's in love with Nietzsche to a point, but thinks he goes too far. Where Nietzsche's Übermensch rules because he by definition must rule, (because all life exists to discharge its strength, and as a definitional result of life, the Übermensch will come to power) Rand removes the will to power from her characters, and creates a soft, genteel rightness to their actions. They are not the dominant force of life destroying that which lies between them and their destiny, they are the victims of a cruel, socialist world.

              As if Nietzsche's Übermensch would allow his or herself to become a victim in the first place.

              And that's what Rand is. She's an Emo Neitzsche who can't write human characters with realistic motivations, not someone whose work has any particular value.

              What Nietzsche says is the foundation of Rand's thinking. But there is one argument of Nietzsche's that I think sweeps all of Rand's work away, as it came before Rand and continues to be a more powerful expression of Rand's own point of view:

              Psychologists should bethink themselves before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength—life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results thereof.
              .  .  .
              Die Physiologen sollten sich besinnen, den Selbsterhaltungstrieb als kardinalen Trieb eines organischen Wesens anzusetzen. Vor Allem will etwas Lebendiges seine Kraft auslassen – Leben selbst ist Wille zur Macht –: die Selbsterhaltung ist nur eine der indirekten und häufigsten Folgen davon.
              Yet her self-interested Nietzsche inspired supermen do not act in their own interests, they do not discharge their strength, (except for Ragnar who discharges his in the service of others rather than for himself.)

              I don't know if you enjoy Rand and agree with her, or if you're lamenting the lack of quality literary criticism of her, or both.

              But if you enjoy Rand, I implore you to read Nietzsche if you have not already. Read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Beyond Good and Evil. He's far better than she is, as his ideas are what she built her work on. And while many who stand on the shoulders of giants provide something new and interesting, I don't think she ever surpassed him with a single piece of her work.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

              by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:14:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Enjoying Rand (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OllieGarkey, Doug in SF

                and simply saying don't be too dismissive are two different things. There is a reason we are talking about her and that her books have been so widely sold and are regarded as so influential.

                She actually has some good points which clearly resound with some people and we would do well to understand why they are wrong and frankly make some hay out of where they are right. But it is hard to believe that the folks who dismiss her (or become slavish admirers) because they think her philosophy is simply Greed is Good have read the books.

                Yes, her ideology is deeply flawed because, as you pointed out, people are a hot mess. We are not rational actors sensibly pursuing self preservation. What we really want is to be able to have what we want, when we want it, as often as we want it, and to worry about the consequences later, by which we mean never - unless the chickens come home to roost for us personally.

                But none of us like to believe that about ourselves. We like to believe that we are the exception...good, virtuous, sensible, rational...always acting in our own and therefore everyone else's long term best interests.

                If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

                by trillian on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:17:46 AM PDT

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                •  I have actually (0+ / 0-)

                  enjoyed Rand where I agreed with her and disenjoyed her where I didn't.  I appreciate the way her work made me struggle with important ideas when I was a teenager and often the only female enrolled in my engineering classes at my previously all-male university.

                  If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

                  by nancyjones on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:54:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm glad I read your comment to the end (0+ / 0-)

                After the title, the quote, and the first sentence I got interested.  I've read Nietzsche.  In fact, one of the proudest mommy moments of my life was when my then seventeen-year-old son birthday-gifted me with an original air-brushed t-shirt created by a friend of his.  Black shirt, white airbrushing.  On the front were four images of Nietzsche, two squares on top, two on bottom, one big square comprised of four smaller square images.

                On the back, centered across the shoulder blades, in white letters of unremarkable but large font are the words..

                Nietzsche is dead.

                About kidney level and slightly left justified in the same unremarkable and smaller but still very readable font it says..

                ~God

                I agree Nietzsche's work is more substantial than Rands, but I still hold to my opinion that Rand's work is more intelligent than most of the comments I read about it on this site (and any other site I've seen it mentioned, for that matter)

                Thanks for your remarks, I personally can find much that's human in Dagny Taggart and I never took Atlas Shrugged as suggesting I was a Jim Taggart because I'm a liberal.  The fictional Dagny effectively ran a railroad when women didn't DO that.  The unfictional me was a power plant superintendent in Texas (am pretty sure I was the first one) when women didn't DO that (and to be honest, they still don't for the most part.)  So maybe the reason you didn't find humanity in the characters is that you were looking at the wrong ones?  Or you had no basis for comparison?  

                If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

                by nancyjones on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 08:49:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's why Jesus went back to Heaven ??? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBL55

        Leaving the Untermenschen to their native violence and ignorance.

        And to cults that twist The Revelation of St. John the Divine backward, so's the Rider on the White Horse is a savior instead of being the Final Anti-Christ.

        Not the promise of the Second Coming.

        Just going, going, gone. Taking His marbles with Him.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:11:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's my take on it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey

        No wonder it appeals to young geeks so much.  "Those airhead jocks don't appreciate us sensitive intelligent guys in the AV club.  We should go Galt and make them run the projectors.  Boy, would that teach them a lesson!"

    •  How about refusing to kill or be killed? (12+ / 0-)

      For a corrupt cause, or based on national identification?

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at www.makingsenseofpsychiatry.com

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:15:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From all accounts (20+ / 0-)

      he was the best soldier in his unit, in terms of training, theory, even practice.

      His colleagues were worthless....the metaphor of superman leaving those who NEED and who TAKE at gunpoint fits very well.

      Having actually read Atlas Shrugged, if he was a character in the book....he found himself in a unit which, in that book, would have been composed of Needers and Takers, with himself doing all the real work and being dragged down.

      I find the diarist's theory compelling.  Rand didn't think much of the military, and his unit exemplified much of what she believed was wrong with any agent of the government (governments are legalized bandits, essentially)

      •  no need to read the book (25+ / 0-)

        or give money to Ayn Rand's estate.

        most of the people claiming they live by her work have not read it either.

        I read Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead (which I liked better) more than once as a teenager and as a young adult.  Unless I can find one of my old copies or get one used I won't be reading either again any time soon, since sales of the book are being used to claim that more people are interested in following her philosophy.

        here is a portion from the online Cliffs Notes that applies to the conversation in this diary:

        Worsening the economic depression in the U.S. is the unexplained phenomenon of talented men retiring and disappearing. ...  As more great men disappear, the American people become increasingly pessimistic. Dagny dislikes the new phrase that has crept into the language and signifies people's sense of futility and despair. Nobody knows the origin or exact meaning of the question "Who is John Galt?," but people use the unanswerable question to express their sense of hopelessness.

        [hundreds of pages later...]

        She finds that John Galt does exist and that he's the man she's been seeking in two ways: He is... the man draining the brains of the world. All the great men she admires are here — inventors, industrialists, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Dagny learns that the brains are on strike. They refuse to think, create, and work in a world that forces them to sacrifice themselves to society. [emphasis mine] They're on strike against the creed of self-sacrifice, in favor of a man's right to his own life.

        [snip]

        Only when the moral code of self-sacrifice is rejected will the thinkers be free to create, and only then will they return.

        [about a hundred pages later...]

        ... the final collapse of the looters' regime occurs, and the men of the mind are free to return to the world.

        The deliciously ironic thing about this book in the current political environment is:

        scientists (especially engineers) are revered in it, as are creative thinkers like artists and investors, and great minds like philosophers, when most of the Rcons these days who are mouthing off about the book deny science, mock art, deliberately avoid independent creative thinking, and despise the system of high quality education

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:37:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of the Rcons these days deny science (10+ / 0-)
          The deliciously ironic thing about this book in the current political environment is: scientists (especially engineers) are revered in it, as are creative thinkers like artists and investors, and great minds like philosophers, when most of the Rcons these days who are mouthing off about the book deny science, mock art, deliberately avoid independent creative thinking, and despise the system of high quality education
          Rcons = Simpletons
          Simpletons! Yes, yes! I'm a simpleton! Are you a simpleton? We'll build a town and we'll name it Simple Town, because by then all the smart bastards that caused all this, they'll be dead! Simpletons! Let's go! This ought to show 'em! Anybody here not a simpleton? Get the bastard, if there is!
          A Canticle for Leibowitz
        •  For anyone interested in reading Rand's work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority

          Google the title of the book in quotes with the words "ebook torrent" after it.

          I often buy books after reading the pirated download, and urge others to do the same.  It's no different from going to the bookstore and reading 2/3rds of a book before taking it to the cash register.  Bookstores let you do that because they know it leads to more sales.  

            It would be cool if there was a way to pay authors direct; I realize publishers and editors do contribute, but in my estimation the author gets too little from the sale of a book.  

          In cases like this where the author is deceased, it's a tougher call on whether to buy the pirated book.  Is his estate wealthy?  Did he achieve fame posthumously?  Those are a few questions I'll think about before buying.  In Rand's case, "Did she contribute anything but a moral excuse for selfishness" is the question I'd ask, and then I wouldn't pay one cent for her refuse.

          It's not the perfect solution, but it beats shoving cash into the maw of Amazon and megacorporation publishers.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:16:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The irony, yes! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority, Catte Nappe

          What I've enjoyed (but also suffered by) was the real world implementation of Rand's philosophy of self-interest without regard to anyone else.  The proclaimed adherence to her philosophy, whether purely done or not.  The end result was a crash of the economic stability that was supposed to be guaranteed under her rantings, for example. The real world implementation of her philosophy has been disastrous.  Repukes blame the Dems for that.  But, in truth, it's their own philosophy that is flawed.

          I'd love to have done a study to find out how many teenagers and young adults, with their personalities yet entirely formed or tempered by wisdom and life, who supported Ayn Rand, compared with their values at age 60+ age.   Even Alan Greenspan admitted that the philosophy wasn't good and that his entire life's economic beliefs were wrong.

          To apply these thoughts to the current diary is that idealism and philosophies rarely mesh very well with real life.  Bowe Bergdahl, bless his heart, had a very nasty intrusion of reality into the philosophy.

        •  inveNtors, not investors :-D (0+ / 0-)

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:09:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpamNunn, frostbite

        Rand "didn't think much of the military"...

        What on Earth are you talking about?

        According to Rand, a well-prepared and funded military was one of the three foundations for the existence of the state and therefore one of the few just acceptable justifications for taxation!

        The best way to tell a Democrat from a Republican is to present someone requiring food and shelter. The Democrat will want them housed and fed, even if they be faking need. The Republican will gladly see them starve until all doubt is removed.

        by GayIthacan on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:37:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Source? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frostbite
        From all accounts, he was the best soldier in his unit, in terms of training, theory, even practice.
        I have not heard a single person say that.  

        If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

        by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:54:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If he was the best... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SpamNunn, Ice Blue

          ...then he should have led by example, not walked off.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:03:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Some spoke well of him (12+ / 0-)
          While others in his training unit – A Company 2-58 – used their weekend passes to hit up strip clubs, Bowe hung out at Barnes & Noble and read books. He was already an expert shot from his days firing his .22 in the mountains of Idaho. When his parents attended the graduation, the drill sergeant told them, "Bowe was good to go when he got here."
          At first, according to soldiers in his unit, Bowe seemed to embrace Army life. "He showed up, looked like a normal Joe," says former Specialist Jason Fry, who is now studying for a master's in theology. "When he first got to the unit, he was the leadership's pet. He read the Ranger Handbook like no other. Some people resented him for it." Bowe kept to himself, doing physical training on his own.
          http://www.rollingstone.com/...
          Fancey, now a captain stationed in North Carolina, recalls Bowe as "quiet. He wasn't one of the troublemakers – he was focused and well-behaved." While other soldiers spent Thanksgiving at the NTC playing PSP and reading Playboy, Bowe sat alone on his cot, studying maps of Afghanistan. He was also made a SAW gunner, responsible for providing automatic firepower for the squad, and he did exercises with his cumbersome 15-pound machine gun as though he were curling weights at the gym. "We saw him, and were like, 'Whoa, Mr. Intensity,'" says Fancey.
          http://www.rollingstone.com/...
          Mr. Sutton said he had struggled to square the popular portrayal of Sergeant Bergdahl as brooding and disenchanted with the soldier he knew. “He wanted to take the fight to the enemy and do the mission of the infantry,” he said, adding, “He was a good soldier, and whenever he was told to do something, he would do it.”
          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:20:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's different than "all accounts" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe

            making him the "best" soldier in the unit in "training, theory and practice".   I thought Susan Rice was speaking again, when I saw this comment.

            This makes him a well trained and compliant soldier who left his base without permission, and that's all, until we know more.  

            Thanks for some facts, Catte Nappe.   Much appreciated.

            If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

            by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:42:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And in fact (8+ / 0-)

              We don't actually know that he left his base without permission.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 11:45:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for saying that! (2+ / 0-)

                What we know is actually very little.  He was there, then he wasn't.  Everything else is conjecture . . . or political bashing.

              •  We do know what his CO said. We may not really (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, Yoda54

                know the whole story though.  

                I would not be surprised to find that he was sent on that trip to gather intel, and that the Taliban that were released were micro-chipped, like my hound!

                If that turns out to be the case, we'll never know, which is why I reserve judgment.   I know more than a few Afghan war vets who served in similar circumstances who are very reserved in their judgment.  We should follow their example.  He ain't a hero, and he ain't a bum, until we know for sure, and we may never know for sure, so we should leave him and his family alone.  

                If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

                by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:06:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Two main things giving me pause (3+ / 0-)

                  This looks like permission, or at least not prohibition

                  In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question:

                  If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?

                  Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.

                  ~ Michael Hastings' 2012 Rolling Stone Article

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Along with this, which suggests a relatively benign destination

                  The observation post was rectangular, shaped like a horseshoe, perhaps 150 yards long by 100 yards wide. One end backed up to a hill near where a contingent of Afghan National Police was staying and was not fully encircled with concertina razor wire; Sergeant Bergdahl had been increasingly spending time with the Afghan policemen, who helped provide security for the back of the outpost.
                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                  by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:42:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This reminds me of my wife's Uncle Rich, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe

                    who went out one cold New Jersey night for cigarettes and called the next day from West Virginia.  He came back the next night, though.

                    I''ll bet we'll never know how or why here, either.

                    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

                    by SpamNunn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 02:22:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Microchipped! (0+ / 0-)
                  were micro-chipped, like my hound!
                  My goodness!  I was thinking that, too!  It's what I would do if I wanted to keep track of my labrador!  ;)
        •  He was studying 3 languages, read up on the (0+ / 0-)

          people and the country, etc.

    •  i'm not so sure about that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, The Hindsight Times

      been years since I read it, but I think I remember that Galt was also focused on depriving the takers of his mere maker/thinker presence, not just the things he had already created but what he (and all those like him) could do for them in the future

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:04:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unit cohesion is everything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      in a theater of war.  It can be a fatal shortcoming if each of a platoon's individuals aren't there working for the good of the platoon.  

      Often a soldier will say he fought for bros in his unit.  Maybe some greater good is in the back of his mind, but deep in the shit, the fight is for the soldiers beside him.  

      Bergdahl walked away from his bros.  For his situation, it was the ultimate going Galt.

      Props to the diarist for a fresh perspective on Bergdahl's situation at the time of his capture.  So far it holds up better than the others, but if it was indeed the reason, I fear we will never have it confirmed by any official investigation.  The military certainly doesn't want to put any seeds in the minds of libertarian nutters that fill it's ranks, and the media, well, they would not know what to do with such info anyways.  "He went Galt?  But he wasn't a maker, not like us pundits!  We have his IRS filings, he paid his taxes, so he didn't go Galt!"

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:45:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And we still don't know if he was just going (0+ / 0-)

      walk about, as he had asked his sgt. for permission to take his weapon and night goggles and was refused, and was captured before his intended return.

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