Thursday, March 16, 2017


"Or, as the kids say, I'm outta here!"
General Douglas MacArthur hit the nail on the head in his 1951 farewell speech to Congress. "Old soldiers never die," he intoned, "they just fade away." I mean, do you remember him? 

So it's kind of surprising that, 53 years after fading away for good, MacArthur is once again in the news -- and, as usual with celebrities, for all the wrong reasons:

"Fat" Jack E. Leonard is delighted for any publicity.
The "Fat Leonard" in question is not to be confused with insult comic "Fat" Jack E. Leonard from the '50s and '60s, who complained to his dying day that Don Rickles ripped off his act. 
This "Fat Leonard" refers to Leonard Glenn Francis, a defense contractor from Singapore, who bribed U.S. Navy personnel, including an Admiral, with the usual stuff, including "lavish gifts, prostitutes and luxury hotel stays." 
You'd think a guy who could drop two
grand on cigars could afford a gym
membership and a better tailor.
Have you ever noticed that newspapers always use "lavish" in connection with bribes? Surely there must be some other way to describe "watches worth $25,000, $2,000 boxes of Cohiba cigars, $2,000 bottles of cognac and $600-per-night hotel rooms." I'm partial toward "munificent," but "profligate" will do in a pinch.
But wither the Medal of Honor-winning, five-star General, the legendary hero of the Philippines Campaign during World War II? 
Well, it's not so much Douglas MacArthur as it is his name. The "luxury hotel" mentioned in the indictment refers to the Philippines' Manila Hotel, which has a suite named for him. A travel guide refers to it as  "impeccably restored" with mahogany chaise lounge chairs and brass chandeliers, evoking a feel straight out of 1935If someone's going to bribe me, that's where I want things to go down.
But not quite the way Fat Leonard planned things. For Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless and his Navy buddies used “historical memorabilia” in the room during sex acts.
Not to my mouth, you're not.
The specific "memorabilia" isn't mentioned. However, the suite includes 10,000 books, a brass gilded chair, marble-topped desk, fountain pens, family photos... and a replica of MacArthur's corncob pipe. 
Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner!
No wonder why other guests of the MacArthur Suite include Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson. They can't exactly be described as history buffs. 
The longer you look at Adm. Loveless, the
more you think, Yeah, I can picture it.
And even though charges are only just being brought against Loveless and company in the Pipegate scandal, this happened ten years agoTo put this in perspective, it took Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower less than four years to defeat Germany, Italy, and Japan. Clearly, a bribery investigation is more difficult than winning a goddamn world war. 
If your head hurts from wrapping it around that fact, try this: Loveless has been prevented from accessing classified information since the investigation started in 2013, but was still allowed to keep his job. Boy, I thought the Teachers Union had a great tenure policy! 
I've always considered myself incredibly dull, and this bribery case clinches it. For in my five decades of sexual activity, I've never been so creative -- or perhaps bored with sex -- as to think that a corncob pipe, historic replica or otherwise, would do the job. Maybe I need to get out more, I dunno. Or maybe it's because I'm not -- ahem -- a Rear Admiral.
The worst of it? Thanks to to the (aptly-named?) Loveless, future generations of women will feel compelled to tell their sons, boyfriends and husbands, Get that pipe out of your mouth! You don't know where it's been! 
Thank you for service, Admiral. Now go use some Listerine.

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