Category Archives: AAH-RETIREMENT

Lessons Learned

I remember, years ago when my daughter was in high school, she was having a problem with her schoolwork. I sat down with her to help as much as I could. I soon realized she never applied what had been taught but was applying what is being taught at the present time. I instructed her to go back and study earlier lessons. She told me she would not see that again therefore it was a waste of time to rehash old lessons. She said it was better to move on and forget it.
I believe we are at the same mindset today. We have forgotten lessons of the past, lessons that were attempted to be taught but all is forgotten. Learning from the past seems to be a forgotten art and when the old scenario comes along again it’s like seeing something new. It’s not new, it’s just not remembered. Most things considered new is not new but is in a different format and not recognized.
Everything that the Obama administration, through hard work and struggles put together, the Trump administration have undone or is attempting to undo or have forgotten it was ever done. The Obama administration had run a couple of exercises to see how a pandemic is spread, with the focus on finding the holes in trying to stop such a thing and if the USA was ready for a pandemic. It was in the works to fix the holes and make sure we were ready for the next pandemic. The incoming Trump administration joined in the last exercise the Obama administration ran and valuable lessons were learned.
After the Trump administration began operating the government, President Trump began to take apart everything that the Obama administration put together, good or bad, it was dismantled. Later, the Trump administration members, that were a part of the last pandemic exercise ran by the Obama administration, were either eventually fired or resigned. Lessons learned were now gone. The people ousted either didn’t pass on past information or the information was disregarded.
Now, in the wake of the newest pandemic, we are told that the government did not know a pandemic could hit us like this. However, this was practiced during the previous exercises. The holes in the system were recognized but were never completely fixed. The department for the pandemic response was dismantled by President Trump. Lessons learned were forgotten. Response to a pandemic was a thing for Obama, not Trump.
We should never forget our past, good or bad. It may, someday, visit us again. If we don’t remember the lesson learned, we will waste time learning the lesson anew. Lying about not knowing does not do any good but to hamper and hurt what is attempting to be done. We should let the experts say what needs to be done without politics getting in the way. When there is a political agenda, there is chaos and misinformation. When there are briefings with very little information, it is better not to have the briefing.
As of now, the states are doing more for the people than the federal government. The states seem to have learned the lessons from the exercises and their pandemic teams stayed in place and have responded. They never forgot the lessons of the past and is applying those lessons to deal with the new problem, all politics aside
NO AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE WILL EVER CONVINCE AN IDIOT. – Mark Twain

Let’s Come Together

COVID-19 is not “Fake News” nor is it something that is overblown to make the President look bad. It is serious business and everyone, both sides of the aisle, should come together and fight with everything available. We have, in the past, stood together and fought things that were harming the nation. In this case, it is harming the entire world and every nation in the world should join forces and fight this virus.
Today’s blog will not be long, I just want people, around the world, to listen to qualified health professionals and stop the spread of the virus. Politicians have said that we will have a cure in a few weeks but, if you listen closely, health professionals have said it will take many months. I tend to believe them instead of politicians.
Unfortunately, normal routines will be disrupted, and, for a short while, life will seem hard, if not unbearable. But life will go on and this too will pass, maybe not exactly as before but it will be better than a quarantine. I wrote in my other blog (www.faithingodministries.net) about coming pandemics and those of the ancient past. This too will pass, but we all, worldwide, must do our parts. Not one person knows it all and not one person can do it all. We all must come together and work together to beat this no matter your politics or faith.
All daily routines will seem tedious at best but if we put politics aside and do what is right, what is good for the nation, what is good for the world, we will live on to see another day. If we continue to let politics get in the way, many of us will perish, many may not be able to fight and there will be a different world.
Therefore, I am pleading with everyone to take this virus seriously and do the right things. Listen to the medical people and seriously do the things you are told. Be careful and hang in there. This COVID-19 is nothing to play with or to take for granted.

What Do You Think

Many years ago, I used to be in the military. I retired from the military almost forty years ago. And, forty years ago, I loved the military. I was not under any delusion about why I was in the military or even why I stayed as long as I did. But, one thing is sure, when I became dissatisfied, I got out.

I went into a specific branch of the military because I did not want to be drafted into the army like the majority of Black people. I beat them to the punch by a few days and while I was in basic training my mother received my draft notice. I was happy for eighteen years, my last two was hell.

As First Sergeant, my last two years saw the change in the military. As the top NCO in my outfit, I felt it more than the men on the outside because I had to deal with the hard change of regulations and ensure my men understood them and adhered to them.

Most of these changes were meant to ensure people had their equal rights applied. There could not be hollering (shouting) at them, grabbing them (assault), in other words, handle with the softest of gloves. It was time for me to go because any one of the people could bring charges against me for hollering at them, etc. which would put me in serious trouble, and twenty years goes down the drain.

Why am I remembering all of this? I was watching television and saw the news about the deployment of military personnel. I also heard some saying they had no notice and it was not right. My question is this, why did they come into the military? Opps…I answered my own question as I think back to when I was in the military. Before I retired to get away from the new military, I talked to a few men that summed it into a neat bow.

I was told that they were there to get an education, to get away from home for a while and to save a little money for later. They did not come into the military to go to war and anything close to that. They wanted to start a family and expected the government to protect and provide for their family. I had a couple of officers tell me almost the same thing.

In my day in the military, it was not like that. We got little pay, very slowly made rank, was roughed up until we got our mess together ( it was expected and no one died but became better because of it) and we never dreamed of having any equal rights except at the toe of the First Sergeant’s boot (just a love tap). I have deployed within a four-hour notice. It was expected and not a mumbling word was heard. Those that were married, and later I was also, schooled their family that at any time the horn would sound and they could be gone for a few days to three months (anything over that is considered a PCS (permanent change of station) except under extreme circumstances).

I still say, like I said when I left the military, the military have gone soft. Then there are echoes of days gone by. I heard somewhere that people are talking about the draft. Well, to dodge the draft you can’t run to Canada now. The President closed that door. What about Mexico? That door is closed also. So, I guess the military is stuck and so are the draft dodgers. Humm…

 

Just Thinking

Thinking about the future, especially the upcoming months, the upcoming years, I cringe. I know I will make it through, one way or another and I don’t have too many more years of life left but what about the family? The young ones. What will the future look like for them? I don’t know about your family, but my family is not thinking about anything in the future. They do not have any idea what may come, nor do they care. Most young people only think about the here and now. Never tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

I am thinking about what is happening in politics. Anything and everything can happen in politics that will have an effect for many years to come. Then there is climate change. The earth has always been in some sort of change and now is no different. I care not that it is called climate warming, climate cooling or whatever the name experts can call it, the earth is and will change. I care not that the President or his people or anyone else say there is no climate change, that is their opinion and they are entitled to it. Then there are the forest fires. Too many to count and they are everywhere. The earthquakes and tornadoes and volcanoes and tsunamis and rising waters and…

I, for a long time, wanted to live on one of the Caribbean islands until storms started tearing them apart. I changed my mind and realized that when a storm hit there isn’t a place to go. Plus, the coral reefs are dying, and the oceans are rising. At least, on the mainland, I can attempt to run somewhere. The islands are beautiful now and most have weathered the storms well but what about five years from now, ten years, twenty years from now? I may not be here to see it but the young saying the earth is not changing will.

Weather during my childhood in Virginia is nothing like now. The first time I saw a tornado I was in a military school in the late ‘60s. Now, in Virginia, it is not unusual to have a few per year, something I have never heard of during my childhood. Earthquakes are on the rise in Virginia. That is another thing that I didn’t know about during my childhood. Yet, my government say nothing have changed. I guess they think I am stupid and will believe everything they tell me.

That was a little, very little, peek into what have been on my mind and I have not gotten into politics. This week I’ll leave it alone because to write what is on my mind will take a couple of pages. Politics is also one of the biggest things that is changing the world. I, personally, do not sway to one side or the other. I go for whom I believe is better than the other or who is the better of two evils. So, I will not go further except to say we may be in another war soon.

I won’t be here when the stuff hit the fan (unless it will be soon) and there isn’t a thing I can do for the family I leave behind. The world has been here a very long time but at many different stages of climate and solid earth conditions. Be prepared because it is coming, and you can’t stop it.

The Digital World

Most people have seen the commercials or news reports, read magazines, seen newspaper reports and have looked at YouTube videos on digital, that have speakers and cameras, can be hacked with information gathered on you and your family. Some people don’t believe it can happen to them or they disbelieve it as a ploy to get them to buy something different or more expensive. Then there are those that believe ‘Big Brother’ want to use them and they don’t want the police in their business.

Truth be told, digital snooping is everywhere, and it cannot be avoided. People are using digital everything every day. Every time a credit or debit card is used, information about the user is gathered. Normally it is where the card is used, time, amount of purchase, what was purchased, account number, address and account balance. Most of the time the information is not used but, when it is gathered, it can be sold for a profit and used lawfully or unlawfully. You’ll never know until you see a news report about it.

Then there are the home items that can be hacked and can make your life a living hell. The items I will list is only partial and will have to be connected to a wi-fi system. The wi-fi system let you control the item(s) with your computer, your phone, etc. The items could be your door bell, alarm system (cameras, motion detectors, speaker for the cameras/motion detectors/doorbell), the entire house (if you automatically turn your lights on and off, lock and unlock your doors, turn your oven on and off, etc.).

You may have seen the news report about a hacker that was watching a family’s kids’ room and was talking to the kids through the speaker on the camera in the room. I also know about baby monitors being hacked and the entire house is heard because baby monitors are very sensitive. Baby monitors, old style, are run on radio waves and, newer style, run on wi-fi. Beware of both because it can monitor your entire house.

Don’t forget your automobile. All newer vehicles have computers and some pair it with cameras, depending on whether you purchased the bare minimum or the top of the line. Vehicles can tell you everything that is going on with the vehicle. It can see things around the outside the vehicle. It can tell you about the interior of the vehicle. If you have a camera that watches the kids in the backseat, a hacker can also. It has been known for a hacker to take control of the vehicle. The computer tells where you have been, where you are, your fuel, road condition, traffic, weather, etc. If your computer knows, a hacker knows also.

I am telling you all of this just to say to be careful what you do with these electronic items. Where you place them, what you say around them may, one day, come back to haunt you. You will never know who or what is monitoring you nor will you know what is to be done with the information. It will only get worse, not better, because everything is electrical and have monitoring capabilities. Some are small, some are large, some are hidden, and some are in plain sight. Rest assured, they are there, and I have only mentioned very few gadgets. There are many more out there.

Vicissitude

Some time ago I promised to use common words when I put pen to paper because large, complicated words tend to confuse and/or mislead to the wrong conclusion. Almost daily I get an e-mail entitled ‘Word Genus’ which have, in my opinion, a difficult word plus its meaning(s). I will use one such word and give you what I think of it.

Vicissitude: Latin-early 17th century 1) A change of circumstances over time, especially in one’s life. 2) Mutability or change from one thing to another, or in a cycle.

To put that word into todays actionable terms, I would say that todays political scene has vicissitudes that I, for one, do not like. There is too much bickering, backbiting, name calling, foul language, slight-of-hand gamesmanship, outright lying, and an attempt to make this nation into a monarchy.

A true monarchy (England is one) is calmer than what is happening to this country. This country was formed to get away from a monarchy just like what is happening in the mid-east. Genocide. We took the land of the Native Americans. Wherever there was resistance, we wiped them out of the area until we had everything. We lied, stole, killed and eradicated into the nation we have today. Is that a part of the definition of vicissitude?

I do not want us to rapidly or slowly change to a monarchy or communism in any way. If I did, I would relocate to some such country. Other countries, just like we have been doing, are attempting to change peoples into what they believe. The radical Muslims and Russians are two such peoples and they are not trying to hide their intentions. Can’t really blame them because we have done and is still doing the same thing.  An old saying ‘the kettle calling the pot black’.

I just wanted to remind all of you why I seldom use large, confusing words in my writings. These words can be interpreted in ways I do not mean and/or they can confuse. I could use a word that give my thinking a different outlook on things that I didn’t mean.

Sometimes I listen to educators, news pundits and politicians speak. I later wonder about their true meaning of what they spoke about. While they are speaking, I wonder about a word they used because I can’t lookup the words as fast as they are speaking them. Those words are not part of my everyday word usage. I think they do it on purpose in order to either confuse people or make people think they are educated and smart.

I am not highly educated, smart or trying to confuse anyone. I shoot straight from the hip and attempt to speak clearly. I want people to understand me. No misunderstanding. Vicissitudes are here and have been for a while. In fact, there is a forever vicissitude of everything, like leaves on a tree. The best anyone can do is to go with the flow and make do the best that can be. Just be careful and have your eyes wide open. Now, did I get that word right? Let me know.

 

The Constitution

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.  George Washington

The first President of the United States had that to say about our constitution and that all people had an obligation to abide by its rules. He also said if something in it was not liked, the people could change it. Until it was changed, all people must adhere to its rules.  In other words, no person can disregard the constitution and do what they want to do.

Most people have not read the constitution, they only know a few key phrases. The key phrases that people know only pertain to what applies to them. The parts that pertain to them are only a few words of the entire clause. A few words versus the entire clause can, most of the time, give two completely different meanings. That is why legal interpretations go to The Supreme Court. Their word is final until overturned by later Supreme Court rulings.

If everyone did whatever they chose to do, there would not be a democracy and living conditions as we know it now. We would have either a king or dictator and complete lawlessness. I can not comprehend our Congressmen and women walking down the trail of being ruled by our enemies. To lose our democracy is to be ruled by whichever enemy get to us first.

Because of my age, my life has become short, it’s my grandkids and great grandkids that will live in the lawless society, if it happens. If what is happening to our executive, judicial and congressional officials do not change, our democracy is gone. The Romans went through it. Remember, The Fall of the Roman Empire? Looking back at all great ruling countries and they all fell at some point. Look at the British Empire and the Turkish, to name just two more. Our demise is coming but I don’t want to see it in my time on earth.

The founders of our constitution knew there will be people against it and people that attempt to tear it down or get around it. They gave us a starting point and left room for adding to it and to make changes. But what have not yet changed is that no one is above the law, it applies to everyone regardless their station in life. The stakes are high, and the time is now. We either accept what we get or legally fight for justice. That will ensure our future generations a strong democracy and only they can keep it and improve on it.

Currently, we have a very weak democracy and we are on the cusp of losing it. There is so much corruption and secret dealings that we will only know a fraction of the total. My only wish is that I could help, other than by voting, in some way. I must leave the fight for our democracy to the younger generation. I love my country but there are so many that only love themselves, country be damned. Remember, the constitution is for all of us.