Sen. Daniel Inouye Now Kicking Ass In Different Spiritual Plane

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Giving ass-kicking lessons to some Boston fella.Today we remember Senator Daniel Inouye, who died yesterday at the age of 163. A man of unmatched honor and love of country, Inouye was born in Honolulu, where he helped build the hospital he was later born in. His father was an office clerk, and his mother was a machine gun. After becoming the first Japanese-American to win Medals of Honor in both the War of 1812 and World War I, Inouye went to high school, where he played football and served as both captain of the debate team and superintendent of schools.

Then the Nazis came to power. Ooooo, nelly. They really shouldn’t have bothered.

Inouye was not happy about that world war, no sir, especially after he was in the attack at Pearl Harbor serving as an aircraft carrier. He tried to join the Army, but the Army was like “No Japanese Americans allowed, idiot,” but then they realized they had just turned down DANIEL GODDAMN INOUYE, they changed their minds only two years later, and let him sign up.

Inouye was sent to Italy, to fight the bad guys. Many accounts list him as leading a platoon of men, but the “platoon” is belived to be apocryphal, and the real story is actually that Inouye went to Italy alone, and defeated fascism.

People seem particularly preoccupied with one day in April 1945, when Inouye was just walking around, casually crushing Nazi resolve. He was shot in the stomach, as he arranged to have done every Tuesday, but then a battle broke out near San Terenzo, in Tuscany. He was fighting those bad guys all over the place, but soon found that his right arm was weighing him down, so he removed it, because he figured the only thing better than two fists was two fists and a stump-fist.

It was at this point the Germans realized what was up, and, after being stump-punched back away from the Gothic Line, they all surrendered. Inouye was unable to recover his arm, as he had climbed to the top of a mountain and thrown it javelin-style through the engine case of a German fighter plane. He did not mind, and his shoes tied themselves, every morning, out of respect. The Army gave him all the medals.

Upon returning home, Inouye founded the state of Hawaii, which he represented in Congress every day of its statehood until today. Inouye’s approach to governance was very similar to his approach to killing Nazis, which was “shut up, I am busy doing good things here.” He walked around being a good guy and doing good things, and one day, he wanted to eat lunch with a black guy, so they walked into the House cafeteria, and just like that, it was desegregated. Because he was hungry, and that’s that.

Inouye died yesterday, after 49 years and 11 months in office, likely because he received an intelligence briefing about somebody causing a ruckus at the Pearly Gates. It’s certainly taken care of by now.

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110 comments

  1. Mumbletypeg

    Inouye was born in Honolulu, where he helped build the hospital he was later born in.

    "Spiritual" plane? Hell — this guy kicked ass on physics-defying multi-dimensional planes!

    1. vulpes82

      You know who ELSE exists in physics-defying mutli-dimensional planes? Inouye has gone to join his masters in non-Euclidean geometries!

      Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn! Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

  2. BaldarTFlagass

    This dude really was part of a Greatest Generation, unlike a lot of the fakes out there. (No snark, in case it isn't obvious.)

    1. Lot_49

      He was undeniably a hero, and the most reliable producer of military pork Hawaii–or any state–would ever know. The island of Oahu is 1/4 owned by the US Army, which stationed one of their environmentally apocalyptic Sryker brigades there at his request. Of course Uncle Ted scored one for Alaska in the same deal.

  3. orygoon

    After the war, he was in California, in uniform and with that pinned sleeve, and a barber wouldn't give him a haircut because "we don't serve Japs".

    Assholery was, as well as is.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      I grew up in a town in Southern California that, at its incorporation, specifically wouldn't let Japanese Americans buy property there. After WWII, the Nisei vets made a point of ending that stupidity (although neighboring Gardena still have a much more vibrant Japanese community). I learned about guys like Inouye from some of his fellow 442 RCT members, none of whom bragged about the heroics they pulled.

  4. Terry

    Inouye was also fighting in WW2 while his family was in an internment camp. Can you imagine risking your life for a country that chose to put your family behind barbed wire just because of your ethnicity?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Well, given the choice of between fighting Nazis in the Tuscan Hills or sitting around with my thumb up my ass in a barracks in some horrible shithole like Manzanar, I'm pretty sure I'd be brushing up on my Italian.

    2. Christopher

      I don't think his family was interned. Hawaiian families generally were not, they were needed to work in the pineapple plantations. Also Japanese on the East Coast weren't either as they were generally from wealthier families. Japanese on the West Coast were migrant farm workers more often than not. But that being said, the Japanese battalion was the most decorated in all of the Pacific theater. There were many that believed internment was their national duty, just like fighting in the war.

      1. Terry

        I'm sorry everyone for getting that wrong. He was on a exhibit about Nissei and I misread it to mean that his family was interned. Apologies all around.

      2. BerkeleyBear

        ETO – Nisei weren't allowed in the Pacific for the same bullshit reasons they were interned. And very few people felt it was their duty to be interned when German Americans were allowed to go about their business, just like a lot of African Americans began to challenge segregation because of how they saw they were treated even in the military (oftentimes less favorably than German POWs). But when the army rounds you up and lies to you about how long you'll be gone for, and the only other choice is endangering your family, it isn't a hard choice for most people.

    3. WIDTAP

      Ah…you may want to reread the linked article, especially near the end. Not that he didn't get a full share of racism. Just, you know, let's stick to the facts. He was plenty patriotic in the face of shit on the facts.

      1. Terry

        I'm sorry. I misinterpreted something on the Nisei in which he was included.

        Apologies to everyone for misleading them. It was an honest mistake.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          This is Wonkette. We may correct each other, but we won't spank you for an honest error.

          I mean, not unless you ask nicely.

    1. Terry

      I hope he's laid to rest in the National Veterans Cemetery of the Pacific, in the Punchbowl overlooking Honolulu. It's an amazing place.

        1. Terry

          I took my parents to Honolulu a few years back and we toured Pearl Harbor and the Punchbowl. Dad served in WW2 and Mom is about the same age. I knew Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona would be moving, but I was really surprised at the Punchbowl. The displays they have on WW2 are really good. It also reminded us of the diversity of people who fought in WW2. The headstones weren't just crosses with the occasional Star of David, in fact those two symbols were in the minority in some areas of the cemetery. I'm glad we went up there.

    2. memzilla

      No one will laugh at his funeral, not even softly — you will not hear a low ha.

      [The Hawaiian Pun Battle -- Oh, It's On!]

    1. Zango Crudmonger

      I've had a certain song of his in my head all morning, and now I've a new one. Not sure if i should thank you.

    1. dr_giraud

      If he'd been anywhere near Hollywood, he would have punched Van Johnson with his wounded arm and starred in that movie.

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    "Upon returning home, Inouye founded the state of Hawaii,"

    Which as we all know was really Kenya, but in a very clever disguise.

  6. Botlrokit

    I listened to the memorial on NPR this morning, and had no idea he was such an interesting character. Rest in Peace, American.

  7. edgydrifter

    Little known fact: that German plane that Inouye downed with his arm-javelin? When the locals went to inspect the wreckage they found a baby inside, completely unscathed and sucking Inouye's thumb. The baby had a beard. This is how Chuck Norris came into the world.

  8. JustPixelz

    Born in Hawaii? Sure. Probably has "birth certificate" too.

    Medal of Honor? Wikipedia's gonna get a "pants on fire" for this:

    Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

  9. Steverino247

    One more time:

    Rank: Second Lieutenant

    Organization: U.S. Army

    Company: Company EDivision: 442nd Regimental Combat Team

    Place / Date: San Terenzo, Italy, April 21, 1945

    Citation

    Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

    The fuckers originally gave him the Bronze Star for all that, certainly because he was of Japanese descent. Guess who was in the same hospital at the time? Bob Dole.

    1. chicken_thief

      I heard the chief surgeon there got an F in "Arm and Hand Repair 101" back in med school. Prolly just a silly rumor, though…

    2. ManchuCandidate

      The general in charge of the segregated 92nd Division (Inouye's unit, the 442nd RCT was attached to) was a grand old racist fucker named Ned Almond. He also ensured that many of the black soldiers under his command were denied medals including Medal of Honors. One was given the DSC (just below a CMH) and at that very medal ceremony, Almond took the top position on the podium for an "earned" silver (or bronze) star (for whatever a general gives himself to look good) which is considered bad form as the guy who earned the highest medal gets to stand there.

      Of course, Ned later made a name for himself as the idiot Corps Commander who did his best to get the 1st Marine Division wiped out at the Chosin Reservoir by ignoring some 100K Red Chinese camped nearby his command.

      1. memzilla

        Hunh. I lost an uncle at Frozen Chosin. The only thing recovered was a dented dog tag. Do you know how hard it is to dent a dog tag? (google "Type 50 submachine gun" for the answer)

        1. ManchuCandidate

          Ugh. I nearly lost a couple of uncles when the Chinese wiped out the division they were attached to (ROK Army) but were lucky as they got orders for officer candidate skule just before it happened.

          The 7th Infantry Division (US Army) got it the worst because they were the least prepared (thanks to Almond.)

          Almond kept trying to tell everyone to disregard caution and go all out in the race to the Yalu. Kept telling everyone to ignore the Chinese laundrymen.

          Sadly, many of Almond's staff flunkies would later go on to help fuck up Vietnam or tell everyone they're in charge (Alexander Haig.)

  10. prommie

    Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement.

  11. prommie

    Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured.

  12. Chichikovovich

    Among the millions of things to admire Inouye for, is the self-control he displayed when chair of the Iran-Contra hearings. I personally wouldn't have been able to resist the urge to walk over to Oliver North, grab him by the collar, and say "I don't need any smug lectures on patriotism from you, you treasonous punk."
    Fortunately he was made of stronger stuff than me.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Actually it would have been cool if Inouye had done that, except with some sort of really cool robot arm that would have reached out and choked Ollie North to within an inch of his life.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Or even better, if he had done the Darth Vader “I find your lack of faith disturbing” thing on 'im.—

  13. Mumbletypeg

    From the linked interview:

    there are a limited number of members, not even double-digit in the Congress, who are privy to the highest classification of information. I’m one of them because I’m chairman of the Appropriations Committee, chairman of Defense Appropriations, and you better know something about the secrets of our land… Some nights it’s not easy for me to go to bed. And yet, for example, if I had to undergo surgery, under anesthesia, it has to be done at a military place — I go to Walter Reed, Bethesda, just in case I talk in my sleep.

    Keeping it confidential by any means necessary.
    That is trustworthiness I could belive in.

  14. Chow Yun Flat

    In the picture, Inouye is saying, "Yeah, I got my arm shot off in Italy by the Germans".

    Kennedy says, "My PT boat got rammed and sunk by the Nips, uh, Slant-eyes, uh, Japs, uh,–in the Pacific.

  15. Goonemeritus

    He may have stump-punched Hitler into submission but todays Republicans are less easy to work with. 60 years fighting the good fight by a man that literally gave the last measure of strength in service to his country, he will be missed.

  16. Weenus299

    I love this man. He hated American nazis, but instead of gassing them or shooting them all with his remaining arm, he schooled them on humanity all the way up until yesterday.

  17. Oblios_Cap

    Inouye was not happy about that world war, no sir, especially after he was in the attack at Pearl Harbor serving as an aircraft carrier.

    I'll bet that he was mad that he was sent out to sea just before the attack. He could have destroyed the Emperor's Navy right there and the war would have ended before it began.

  18. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    Inouye was an inspiration to Asian-Americans, still one of the most underrepresented and invisible minority groups around. (I have had people tell me they don't think of us as Asian, they think of us as "normal." This usually happens right before I punch them in the face. I wonder if there's a connection?)

    Aloha, and RIP

  19. sewollef

    Wow Rich, that was such an exciting story. Would you consider turning that into a novel? We'd all read it avidly.

  20. bikerlaureate

    He did not mind, and his shoes tied themselves, every morning, out of respect.

    This is awesome.
    Those were not cruel shoes.

  21. savethispatient

    I hope the Wonkette will be available for my obituary. Not for a while, though. I feel fine. Honest.

  22. el_donaldo

    Rich, don't ever leave Wonkette, O.K.? It hurt when we lost Newell, again, but you must never leave us.

  23. Veritas78

    Until I saw that picture, I was unaware that Kennedy had lost both hands in WWII. The media must have hid that, like they did FDR's polio. Those were more civil times.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Yeah, they never said a word about Richard Nixon's twin problems with incontinence and priapism either.

  24. ttommyunger

    But I guarantee there are those who would try to "Swift Boat" his ass in a heartbeat if it furthered their political goals.

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