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Interview: McCain Fellow Hanoi Hilton POW & Naval Academy Dorm-mate; Why He Won't Vote For McCain

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Butler:   Sure 

Kall:   All right, so, you say, you were basically, you got there; you were a freshman when he was a senior, so you spent a year at the Naval Academy, with him, living directly across the hall from him, apparently, right? 

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Butler:   Yeah, as improbable as that is, because you know, strangely, out of three thousand six hundred midshipmen  we had spread out in twenty four companies; I happened to fall into the Seventeenth Company, and right straight across the hall from John McCain and his roommate, I and my two roommates found ourselves living in the Seventeenth Company. 

Kall:   So you write he was intent on breaking every U.S. Naval Academy regulation in our four inch thick Naval Academy Regulations book and I believe he must have come as close to his goal as any midshipman who ever attended the academy. 

Butler:   We used to say that for John it was an art form, I mean, you know, it took more than intelligence and an active imagination; it was an art form for him, and he was a wild and irascible midshipman in those days. 

Kall:   What kind of rules did he break? 

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Butler:   Everything you can imagine from being out over the wall at night, to just-- There were thousands of rules that could be broken and John, I think, had a go at all of them and he spent a lot of time also on detention his first class year, on, as we called it, restriction. Because of the ones that he broke and got caught at. 

Kall:   I'm wondering, were there any that were really bad or were they just misbehavior--? 

Butler:   I think they were misbehavior, I think that they were just in his "wild and wooly" nature, which, by the way carried on after he graduated when he became a Navy pilot; before he was shot down over Vietnam, he crashed several airplanes. He was a wild risk-taker and he still, I think to this day, If you watch him and read things about him, I think he practices-- brinkmanship.  

Kall:   Brinkmanship. So would you think that the average student at the Naval Academy could have gotten away with this, or would they have been thrown out? 

Butler:   Well, there was talk amongst those of us who I know and knew in that day, and not just my classmates but his classmates and those in between that he probably had a leg up in surviving this because he was the son of what was then a pretty high ranking Navy captain, who later became an admiral, and the grandson of a Navy admiral, so he was in a lineage of, you know, admiralty, in McCain.  

Which probably happened more often than not, there at the Naval Academy; there were numerous midshipmen whose fathers were captains or admirals and so on and so forth, but John came from a special rarified navy lineage, and so you know, I remember-- 

Kall:   So he came into the Naval Academy a child of privilege, who was able to get away with stuff that the average Naval Academy person who didn't have those privileges would never have gotten away with. 

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Butler:   Well, that was said. Those were things that were being said at the time and I know that he did on at least one occasion have to go over and have a talk with Admiral Smidberg, the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, which was extremely unusual. I never heard of any other midshipman getting a --as we called it-- a "Dutch Uncle" talk at Navy, for being dressed down. 

Kall:   Do you remember what he did to cause that?  

Butler:   I don't; it was fifty years ago, so that one I can't remember, I'm sorry. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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