Global Warming

Earth is our home. A home we all must care for because there is nowhere else to go. Call it global warming or climate change, it’s all the same to me. Weather is changing and the change is like it have done for millions of years. Most of it is Mother Nature doing her thing but some of it is manmade. Humans are causing much of the destruction of many things which causes Mother Nature to rebel.

               There are many people that do not believe nor understand this and there is nothing I can do to convince them. Back in the day things were different. I grew up with wood and coal stoves for heating and cooking. Only the rich had oil or gas for heat and cooking. However, I do not remember any warnings/alerts for smog or bad air. There is plenty of them today and it will get worse long before it gets better. We used and reused things and when it could no longer be used, we made it or attempted to make it usable for other things.

               Those that do not believe in worsening weather must walk around with their eyes, ears, and nose closed. It is all around us and will not go away. The ice is melting at both poles. The fire season is getting earlier and earlier. More and more animals are becoming extinct because of the destruction of their habitat. Each year is getting hotter. There are earthquakes, tsunamis, heat alerts, haboobs (of which I thought was for the deserts of Africa, Arabia, India, etc. but is frequent in our southwestern states), floods, droughts, and volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, (just to name a few things).

               Congress, on the other hand, will not pass legislation to correct what we can and the ones that have passed is so weak it just as well not be there. Not only must the USA get with realizing the danger, but the world must also come together and attempt to fix this problem together. America has its hands tied because the congressmen are looking for something for themselves. If they can not find a value in it for themselves or their party, they will vote against anything and everything.

               As I thought about this article, I thought about what the world was doing to contribute to this problem. One problem jumped out at me and that is the Amazon. That area supplies the earth with so much, like filtering the air, exotic animals, exotic plants that have provided new medicines and other things, and so much more that I do not even know about. Yet slowly the Amazon is being cleared for crops, housing, and other things. Tribal people and animals are finding their living area is getting smaller as well as smoke from the burning forest is irritating.

               So, don’t believe in global warming but this is the only world we know to live in. The earth, every so often, make changes. We cannot stop the changes, but we can stop the portion that is man caused. The starting point is to stop denying climate change/global warming. The rest of it is to go back to being green and doing what we can about the amount of trash we accumulate (Like all that plastic), etc. We must all do our part while we stop fighting each other about this. Global warming is real.

War Crimes

Although the United States have tried to do the right thing when in battle, occasionally there is a hic-up, a rogue combatant that does the wrong thing. However, when these things come to light the United States government comes down on them with a heavy hand along with our justice system. War crimes are not tolerated, no matter who commits them. Not so in some other countries and Russia have joined that list.

               Our adversary has done many things that we consider wrong but not bad enough to stop talking to them nor co-operating with them on many projects. To the Russians we are made to be taken advantage of and they have done it to us for many years. When caught the Russians will try anything and everything to bribe their way out of the situation, i.e., they do not like what is being said about them in Ukraine, so they threaten to use nukes, they want oil products paid in rubles, they tell lies, etc.

               The Russian military is not as good as I thought they were. In fact, they have shown me the opposite although I have suspected them not being so good for many years. Every now and then I would hear about planes crashing for no reason or ships sinking and submarines going down and never coming back up. However, I never thought about the military being so untrained as they are. I even thought their commanders were more capable than they are. We can not forget about their logistics and equipment which leave a lot to be desired. They even had a few of their newest and best fighter aircraft shot down by the Ukrainian army.

               Getting back to the war crimes, Russia has denied them and have said there is no proof that it even happened. Well, because of poor equipment we know the truth. Russians use unencrypted communications plus open channel communications to talk to each other. One thing overheard was how to get information from captured Ukrainian forces and civilians and then shoot them in the head. They even talked about raping women and children, then razing the entire city, killing everyone that they can. This is proof that can not be denied. They even say the pictures of mass graves, the dead civilians lying all around for days, even in the middle of the road, is fake (where have I heard that word before) and have banned the media in Russia.

               I learned many good things when I was a kid and one of them was to never fight someone in their own back yard, you will never win. The United States found that out in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and a few other places. Russia has, or should I say suppose to have, every piece of modern war equipment the world has to offer. The Ukrainians did not have much until the world started helping them with equipment plus teaching them how to use it. The Russians, who started a fight in the Ukrainian’s back yard is moving backward. Now the Russians want to holler about war crimes being committed on them. They are the invaders and should have never invaded but Putin wanted to make Russia larger and thought Ukraine was a pushover. He is responsible for everything that have happened, war crimes and all.

The War in Ukraine

I am watching the war in Ukraine, and I am sad about this on two accounts. First, I am too old to go there and take up arms against the invading forces. Second, this reminds me of a civil war because a portion of the Ukraine populace speak Russian, and some have family in Russia. This is a war started by a mad man and he does not care about anything except what he wants.

               I see the civilian buildings shattered and burned, children and women dying, not even understanding what is going on nor why. I also see fearless people taking on the invaders knowing they could die at a moments notice. I see the people that have never held a weapon trying to quickly learn to shoot and protect their country. This should never happen.

               The Russian military is not as good as they think they are. There is video of them giving up because their vehicles are out of fuel, they are hungry and tired. The Ukraine people gave them food and comfort and, from the videos I saw, did not harm nor restrain them. But that is only some of the military because others followed orders and purposely targeted civilians and their domiciles. Why is it taking so long to overrun a country the size of Ukraine with a large Russian army? Incompetence, leadership, the will to fight, what?

               Everyone is afraid of a nuclear war if a nation with nuclear powers joins the Ukraine fight. Never to worry, worry about Russia targeting the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and going after another. We were lucky that the bombing did not cause the release of any radiation on the first one, but we may not be lucky if they bomb the next one. Nuclear radiation does not know the difference between friend or foe nor boarders.

               Of course, President Biden is accursed of not doing enough to stop the start of the war, among other things he is falsely accused of. The Congressmen that released unauthorized video, when there was a video talk with the Ukraine President, will not even get a slap on the wrist. The rules Russia goes by, our rules, and the rules of the rest of the world are not the same rules. Plus, no one can believe anything Russia say. Russia told the world, before the invasion, that they were conducting war games. We knew better because we now have a President that listens to the intelligence reports. The reports were correct.

               But the question now is ‘what can the world do to stop this invasion’? Not much besides the sanctions. The rest of the world could take up arms to help Ukraine, but the Russian mad man may be crazy enough to drop a nuclear bomb. Roll the dice. Then the entire world is in jeopardy. The world can not negotiate with a mad man.

               The bottom line is to watch and wait to see what develops and hope it is good. We all must support Ukraine anyway we can with whatever we have. We can also pray for them and keep them in our prayers until this is over. When this is over it will take years to rebuild the country.

The Harlem Hellfighters

I will do an article for ‘Black History Month’ and may include it in the April issue (March has already been written about Bass Reeves) of the magazine I write for (www.albemarletradewinds.com). Occasionally I come across people that I have long ago forgotten, and today’s youth do not know about, this is one of those times. I will give you a little insight into THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS.

               The 369th infantry regiment, originally formed as the 15th New York National Guard Regiment before being reorganized as the 369th upon federalization and commonly referred to as the Harlem Hellfighters, was as infantry regiment of the New York National Guard during WWI and WWII. The regiment consisted mainly of African Americans, though it also included men from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guyana, Liberia, Portugal, Canada, the West Indies, as well as American White officers. With the 369th Infantry Regiment, it was known for being one of the first African American regiments to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI.

               In April 1917 the United States declared war on Germany, and the following month the 15th New York reported to Camp Peekskill, New York, for a short course of rifle training. The regiment was officially mustered into federal service in July and ordered to Camp Whitman, outside of Poughkeepsie, New York, for basic training. It soon became clear that the 15th would be held apart from the rest of the army. The men of the 15th would face even worse treatment where they were ordered to Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and harassment and verbal abuse became a matter of routine.

               The regiment was named the ‘BLACK RATTLERS’ after arriving in France by its commander Col. William Hayward. The nickname ‘MEN OF BRONZE’ was given to the regiment by the French after they witnessed the gallantry of the Americans fighting in the trenches. Legend has it that they were called the ‘HELLFIGHTERS’ by the German enemy. During WWI, the 369th spent 191 days in frontline trenches, more than any other American unit. They also suffered the most losses of any American regiment, with 1500 casualties. The regiment was also the first of the Allied Forces to cross the Rhine into Germany.

               The 369th bought their music to Europe. The 369th ‘Hellfighters Band’ was relied upon not only in battle but also for morale. By the end of their tour, they became one of the most famous military bands throughout Europe. While overseas the 369th Regiment made up less than 1% of the soldiers deployed but was responsible for over 20% of the territory of all the assigned to the United States. During the war the 369th band introduced the until-then unknown music called ‘JAZZ’ to British, French, and other European audiences.

               All African American US Army units were renamed as ‘Colored’, and the 369th served in WWII as the 369th Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft) (Colored), with its successor being the 369th Infantry Regiment (Colored). At some time, postwar, the 369th was re-formed into the present-day 369th SUSTAINMENT BRIGADE.

Crime

               All sorts of crime will be with us for the foreseeable future. There are many reasons that this have come to the forefront and will stay. I will write about a few reasons simply because 1) to give all the reasons will take a tome and 2) I surely will leave out a lot although I will be trying to include all of it. Therefore, I will write about a few reasons crime is upon us and will remain, even if we try to stop it.

               First, let me say that crime have been a part of human nature since the beginning (does Abel and Cain ring a bell?). Go further back (can’t go too far) and it started with Eve and that conniving snake, better know as the Devil (Satan). The crime was attempted to be covered up by saying ‘am I my brother’s keeper’, and the rest is history. This have been happening ever since and will continue. Be honest with yourself and don’t think crimes can be stopped.

               Recently, within the past eighteen months, murder have risen to a level as great as to what it was in the seventies. Crime, back then, started going down when we, as a nation, started getting real tough on crime, especially murder. True, some people were (are) convicted falsely. However, that is another story because there are very glaring reasons why. Also, one of the reasons for both acts, like I said in other blogs, politics control everything, good or bad politics, politics did it.

               There has been a great push on restructuring incarceration institutions and the justice system in general. Many people want a softer system because people are human and the majority deserve a second, third chance (some get more chances). After cameras became the norm all anger, finger pointing, and suspicions fell on policing. As in any society, there are good people and there are bad people, as it is in any police force. There are more good cops than there are bad but when the bad cops do their dirty deed, all cops are blamed.

               There is a call for open policing, accountability, etc. and most of it have made the policeman’s work harder, which mean fewer crimes are solved. Of the crimes that get solved, go to trial, and convictions are brought, the punishment is becoming softer. Most of the time it is only a slap on the wrist. And not all punishment is the same for all for the same crime. It becomes evident that because of the political status of the judge, the wealth status of the person convicted, the political status of the person convicted, the color of the skin, which state the trial is in, the political status of the state, etc. means the amount of punishment, if any.

               Because the police are being called out on everything, cops are, most times, too cautious when confronting someone, especially a Black person. This can be detrimental for the police as well as the person being confronted. This is one of the reasons police hiring is bad and maintaining good policemen is hard. They are over worked, underpaid, and not appreciated.

               I could go on and on about crime, but I have neither the space nor time. Before you say yes or no seriously think about this and why crime is getting worst. There is a lot more to this and more honest research is needed by you before any preaching or action.

Our Government

Does our government do everything it is supposed to do? No. Both sides are fighting each other. When one side say ‘yes’, the other side say ‘no’, and vice versa. Does our government provide everything it is supposed to provide? No. Again, when one side try to provide what it can and propose a bill to do it, the other side is against it simply (as I see it) because they did not propose it and will not receive the credit for it. Even when their constituents benefit from the proposed bill, they are against it.

               Around the world, other governments are going through the same thing. Politics gets in the way of progress for any society, and everybody lose. Here in the USA, things are getting worst and, as far as I can see, I do not see a light at the end of this long tunnel. Maybe it is still dark outside, and I can not tell it is the end of the tunnel. Or, maybe, there are more obstacles to jump over, and those obstacles are blocking the light at the end of the tunnel.

               The midterm elections are upon us, and it is assumed that Republicans will retake the government. It seems that the in-power party lose during the midterm election because the populace is angry that the in-power party have not moved fast enough to give them what they voted for. They do not care that the in-power party have been hamstrung from approving the bills they proposed to give the people what they want. They do not listen to the rhetoric, the untruths, from the other side. All that is known is they are not getting what they want, and they want to make them pay. They do not care that there are many things that they have gotten, all they see is they do not have their pet want.

               Politics is messed-up and is rife with politicians saying untruths, giving the runaround, and many other things that will make their side look good and the other side look bad. They will not tell you that the other side did something good nor will they vote a positive for a bill from the other side no matter that it is good for their constituents and/or it will help the world. They also have a ‘what is in it for me’ type of thinking. Most politicians are in politics because it will make them rich or richer.

               Yes, politics is messed up, but it is the only democratic thing we have for now. Personally, I do not want a dictatorship nor anything close to it. But, who or what do we have or put into place to watch the present government, keep them truthful and (here is the big one) dole out fair punishment for wrong doings? Everyone, including the populace, are for themselves and ‘be damned’ anyone else. There is not a thing in this world that is perfect but at least we can try and at least look out for our fellow man as we lookout for ourselves. By doing that, maybe we can have a better government.

CRT

Within the past five years CRT (Critical Race Theory) have heated up to a high boil. The reason being is the people that want a change, not going back to covering the past but do what the past did, are coming out of the woodwork in droves. I am not an expert on CRT, but I will attempt to explain as best I can, in a short version and without the large words that is in the official explanation.

               CRT started when the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Bill passed. Before that time people of color (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, etc.) were hindered in everything that they did. They did not have the right to live the life that the White person was living. When the bills passed, they did not want people of color reminded about what they used to do to them.

               When the last President took office, they felt emboldened to come out of the woodwork since they had their own man in the highest office, a Congressional majority, a judicial majority, and a governmental majority in the states. They felt they could do and say whatever without consequences and those few consequences that happened would bring minor punishment, if at all.

               By spreading false statements about CRT and that CRT is taught in schools they hope to stop anyone from remembering the past therefore insuring keeping a majority for themselves because the people would believe it is taught in schools, it is bad, and vote the other side out. With the help of print news, radio, television, and whatever is on the internet locks their agenda in place for them to use at will. Never mind the fact that CRT is NOT taught in schools K to 12. Never mind the fact that CRT is only taught in universities for law students. They know when statements are said enough times, over and over again, most people will believe them and unwittingly be on their side to help them. They know people will not research CRT for themselves but will rely on them doing the research and telling them what is found.

               When the people wake-up and see what is happening, it may be too late. It may be too late now; I do not know. Turning the clock back to yonder days will be a bad thing. Look at Afghanistan, they were beginning to move into the modern era until we left. The regime that took over went back to the, I would say, dark ages and their economy is falling like a rock. People will starve this winter and be like nomads in a baren land. We were once the greatest country, but we are also falling fast and I do not see the end of the tunnel.

               The USA is not the only country that is going through this CRT dilemma. I can name about ten, maybe more, that are following the USA’s footsteps and their economy is shaky also. CRT is not the problem because when you do not remember the past (Not selected parts of the past), you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. We will then be in the same boat as Afghanistan.  

Program Interruptions

As I sat watching the Thanksgiving parade, waiting for The Hampton University Band, I was becoming frustrated by the frequent interruptions for the numerous long commercials. To top it all was when the commercials were over the hosts would talk and talk, mostly about nothing. I just want to see the parade, not listen to hosts and commercials. I guess the number of minutes allotted to the parade versus the amount of time allotted to the hosts and commercials, the commercials will be first in minutes allotted, hosts will come in second and the parade a very poor last. But that is just my thinking.

               I remember that back in the day it was much different than it is today. My wife would say ‘things change…stop thinking about yesterday’. I cannot because I then thought about my military assignment to Germany. I watched a lot of German television and one of the German’s favorite programs was the western program named Bonanza. This was the 1970s and even then, commercials were long although I didn’t know it. German television had their commercials either before or after a program. A program was never interrupted for a commercial or two or three. Watching German television made me realize that Bonanza was twenty-five or thirty-five minutes long with the rest of the hour left for commercials. While watching German television you could tell where a commercial was to be placed in the program.

               Anyone that is old enough to remember the good old days remember the college and pro football games halftime shows. Most of the time the halftime shows were better that the games. The entire halftime show was aired without commercials and not many commercials were shown during the game. Watching a football game was great without a lot of talking experts and commercials.

               I guess I am selfish, want my cake and eat it too. I know the television companies must, as they say, pay the rent but I think it is too much. I also know the hosts get very good pay checks and they must talk, tout, and set themselves up for better positions. All of it, in my opinion is at the expense of me watching what I pay the cable company to see. It is great when I record a program and, as I watch the program, I fast forward past the commercials.

               Yes, I miss the good old days when I can watch the marching bands doing their intricate formations, seeing a very short commercial, and rarely see the announcer/host. I enjoyed watching the parades (like the Rose Parade for one) and see each part, every float and marching band. I didn’t know it then but those were good days. Now it’s all about the money and I must suffer through the things they think make their money. I just hate the program interruptions especially when my mind gets into a program, and it’s jerked out for a commercial or I miss parts of a parade because of the same thing. Give me the good old days.

I Remember

It is ludicrous that people are still hating, riling, and believing stupid rumors about wearing masks and getting COVID vaccine. This have been going on far too long for anyone to still have an argument against it. After millions upon millions of people have taken the vaccine and only a handful of people developed an adverse effect from it there should not be a wait and see attitude.

               I am an old man now and I still remember seeing pictures and news clips of people in iron lungs to help them breath. I also remember going to school, on a Saturday, to eat the sugar cube to eradicate people having to be in an iron lung. It worked. Only people in my age group and older can remember the iron lung. There was not much fighting about the vaccine and the iron lung is a thing of the past.

               I remember getting measles and chickenpox (among other ailments) were normal diseases and sooner or later you knew you would catch it, just like everyone else. Then vaccines were developed for that and now it is seldom that anyone catch the diseases. Now everyone can walk around with the knowledge that there is not anyone around them with it.

               I remember when I was a child, I heard about the Tuskegee experiment. I did not understand exactly what that was but later in life I fully understood. The implications of the experiment still affect Blacks today because the story of the experiment is passed along, I would imagine, forever. There were other experiments on people especially those ordered by Hitler in Nazi Germany.

               I remember seeing the Television news, reading the daily news, and seeing the internet about what those that do not take the vaccine or wear masks say. Like, along with the vaccine shot the government have a tiny tracking capsule mixed in the serum. There are many conspiracy theories going around and far too many people are believing them with little or no proof. Here is one; a six-year-old child have a heavy menstrual cycle after getting the vaccine shot. The truth is the person is forty-one years old, not six years old.

               I remember when my daughter registered for a school season, I had to show proof of many different immunizations that she had to have before she was allowed to register and go to school. This was not only for her protection but also for the protection of her classmates and, in turn, the classmate’s family. The same thing applies for this vaccine.

               It is said that it has not been out long enough to prove it works. My response to that is to ask the multimillions of people around the world if it works. Then the naysayers say they made the vaccine too fast to be any good. I say, why wait for half the world to die before there is a vaccine? If a family does not want the children of that family to take the vaccine, homeschool them. That way the family does not have to take the children to a school that they disapprove. There is also no fuss and no fight.

               I remember a lot of things that can be added here but these are only some of the highlights and a little of what is on my mind. I have my three shots and I wear my mask when I am out among the public. I truly wish others thought the same way. When they catch the COVID I will remember them when they are gone.

The Elections

Next week is election week. Here in Virginia, the governor’s election is too close to call. I voted early just like thousands of Virginians. As I have said before, I always vote for the better person, in my opinion, no matter which party they belong to. I listen closely to what the candidates are saying, and I look closely at who the person is, what they really stand for and try to guess what they would do if elected to the office.

               For instance, the Republican for Virginia’s governorship is constantly saying one thing while on the speaking stage, but hidden tapes have caught him saying something different. In fact, every Republican have been caught telling lies, constantly, while the Democrats have had verbal fluffs, every now and then, or what they say is either taken out of context or twisted to mean something they did not say. I still look at the person and give the benefit of the doubt before I choose which person I am to vote for.

               I also look at the party the person belongs to and understand what the party is doing or trying to do. Then I want to see if the candidate wants to help change some things in the party or help the party continue what it is doing. It makes a difference because I ask myself if I want to continue with the same old things that is giving me heart burn or do I want change. This is not a game. It is the future, and the future is not for me but for my family that is left when I am gone.

               The one campaign theme that is either scaring or thrilling a lot of people is when the name Trump comes up. Trump lost this state when he was running for re-election but think the man running for governor can change things. That man has said he is running because of Trump, and he admires him. How can a person admire a one term twice impeached President?

               What have my mind in a fog is why many people want this man that is against masks, vaccinations, abortion, messing with things in schools, and correct science (which include global warming). It appears every candidate for office that is Republican are all saying almost the same identical things and have the same identical mindset. They are like puppets and Trump is pulling the strings like a puppet master. I do not think they have a mind of their own.

               One more thing. The Republican candidate have gotten most of his campaign money from a Wisconsin billionaire. I recently wrote a blog entitled ‘Follow the Money’. Here is further proof of that. The Republicans have deep pockets because of the billionaires that is why they do not want wealthy money taxed. The Republicans do not want to tax them because they still want their pockets (personal and party) lined.

               Knowing all of what I have written and more I still say vote for the better person. Like I have said, I voted early. I say to you, remember, the way you vote will not only benefit you but your relations for years and years to come.