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Bonehead No. 1

     It’s so sad when we lose our traditions.
     Most people know the word snafu, which originated as Army slang for “situation normal, all f—-d up.”
     Some of us remember fubar.
     But far too many people have forgotten, or never knew, the intermediate words janfu and sapfu, which stand for “joint Army-Navy f—up,” and “surpasses all previous f—-ps.”
     These are good old American words, coined during World War II. The Oxford English Dictionary refused to recognize any of them as late as the 1970s, though the OED online version admits snafu today.
     In the Army, fubar outranks sapfu, though that doesn’t seem fair. Sapfu sounds like a higher-ranking f—-p. But we may need a new word now that Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office, admits he ordered Air Force One to buzz New York City skyscrapers on Monday, accompanied by two fighter jets.
     Caldera was Secretary of the Army for two and a half years under President Clinton. He can’t be a complete moron, as he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1987, and got an MBA from Harvard that same year. He’s also a graduate of West Point. Yet Caldera ordered this insane display over Manhattan so that “government photographers could take pictures near the Statue of Liberty for publicity purposes,” The New York Times reported.
     President Obama didn’t know anything about it.
     Caldera didn’t bother to tell him about it.
     Caldera and his fellow idiots in the Federal Aviation Administration told the New York City Police Department about it ahead of time, but ordered the NYPD not to let New Yorkers know the stunt was coming. Caldera wanted it kept secret.
What a bunch of morons. I presume Caldera didn’t want anyone to stand up and ruin the shot of the planes buzzing the Statue of Liberty. He wanted everyone ducking.
     Naturally, people ran screaming from their office buildings at around 10 a.m. Monday as Air Force One and two fighter planes screamed over New York City for Caldera’s photo stunt.
     I dislike New York and New Yorkers as much as the next guy, but come on … this was worse than brainless. It requires an enormous amount of work and some low-grade substitute for thought to pull off something like this.
     Back in the days before computers, to really screw something up you needed the Army. I realize it’s no longer legal to make fun of the Army in the United States, and that I could be abducted and sent to a CIA prison or to Guantanamo for saying this, and so could any librarian who lets you read this column online at a public library, but still, I’m going to say it: the director of the White House Military Office, the former Secretary of the Army, is a moron. He should have been out on his butt as of four days ago.
     The U.S. Army has a proud tradition of screwing things up. Anyone who’s been in the
     Army will tell you so. So will any Army general. It’s no disrespect to our soldiers or to our country to say this. Casting a cold eye upon the military is a necessary, but not sufficient, part of keeping any country free.
     But in this era of whiners and cowards, we are all under federal orders to Look On The Bright Side and salute. So let’s give Caldera the credit he deserves: In committing the most boneheaded play in this year dominated by boneheads, in this government of the boneheads, by the boneheads and for the boneheads, Caldera was just doing his job. He upheld an old Army tradition. It was a sapfu.

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