Tag Archives: USA

Russia, Oh Russia

The other day I read an article that talked about Putin and Russia. I had forgotten about Russia because I was detracted by this pandemic. But I really have not forgotten about Russia because our President love him so much and is trying to be just like him. If you look at what is happening in Russia and what is happening in the USA and you will see little difference. The only real difference is Putin have been in office an exceedingly long time and I do not see him leaving office anytime soon. Our President want to be in office an exceptionally long time also, but he is old. I heard a whisper that he wants his son to take over like what happened in North Korea.

               Russia not only have a bad case of COVID that is still spreading but Putin himself is still governing from his bunker via teleconferencing. Remember, our President started to do this when the marches started. Humm! Russia have troops spread out in a few outlying countries because of uprisings and other things. They are trying to cope but is slowly losing their hold. Therefore, because of these things and a few more, Putin’s approval rating have dropped with only the seniors holding him up. As here, the younger generation is massing against him, not only in Russia but in Russian controlled provinces too.

               Putin’s opposition is trying hard suppressing of the vote and is making headway. That is why there is a rash of opposition murder and harassment. The administration has attempted voter suppression everywhere and now the supporters have attempted kidnapping which would have ended in murder, according to news reports. What we have that Russia do not have is armed militia marching with the blessing of our President and his cult-like followers/enablers.

               Like here in the USA, Russia’s economy is tanking, thanks to the pandemic, and the end is not in sight. More people that have money to burn are going bankrupt and that is an unheard-of thing in Russia. Normally people with money is closely tied to the Kremlin and they can continue to steal more money from many sources. Putin himself is sweating this because it may go back to the old days of bread lines.

               Our President loves Putin and if he is allowed another term and then do what his love is doing, we will be in bread lines also (are the food give-away lines the same?). We are already hated by everyone around the world and when we cannot do anything for ourselves, they will pounce, and the USA will be no more. One thing I can say, both Russia and the USA is being overwhelmed with COVID because of their actions/inactions. Both countries have conflicts outside the country. Both countries have a President that is disliked (Putin’s approval rating has dropped dramatically). And, both countries have a President that is attempting to get rid of the opposition.

               Russia and the USA have never been more alike than now. Us Americans have a better chance to correct our situation than Russia because you can get away with murder in Russia but have a good chance of getting caught in the USA. Our one and only way to begin to correct our situation is to vote. Do not think things will work out and you are not needed. VOTE! Vote and give all of us a chance to get back to normalcy. It will not if you do not VOTE and vote in-person and early if you can. Only trust the mail if there is no other way around it. Either way, VOTE.   

Marching Again

A lot have been going on since the death of George Floyd and I want to insert my input. I have witnessed and felt racism all my life, including the present time. So, people have said on television that this have been going on for four hundred years. Yes, in the United States that is true, but this have been going on for thousands of years. Black people, all over the world, have been harassed and killed by White people as far back as written history will show.
Moving to more recent times, I find a correlation between Civil Rights marches and the most recent ones. However, the difference between the two is huge. Foremost are the marches/demonstrations being peaceful and well organized in the era of Civil Rights. I took part in the fight for our Civil Rights and can attest to that fact. In my area of marching we did not walk in a mass, unorganized group, we marched single file on the sidewalk and talking was not allowed. Yet, we were met by police with night sticks, snarling dogs, electric cow prodders and the fire department with fire hoses. We walked from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, obeying all pedestrian laws and we were beaten, bitten, shocked, tear gassed and hosed down from high pressure hoses. I still have the memories and marks to prove it.
Another huge factor that is evident, is that most of the marchers, then and now, are young people that are leading the way. It is not that older/senior people are simply standing by, hoping this will go away, but most can not endure the walking and survive the outcome they may meet. The older generation can not withstand the gas or beatings.
There is a big difference between yesterday and today. Today, there are factions that want to conjure a sense of unrest. These groups want peaceful demonstrations to look bad for them to say Blacks are wrong and should be beaten and killed every chance that is afforded them. They have their own hateful agenda which is shouted from the White House and is echoed through whichever separatist group will listen and act. These groups jump in and out of the marching crowds causing damage and, at the same time, trying to stay hidden. Those Black people that are looting are taking advantage of this simply because they are at the bottom of the social ladder and is in want. Yes, they are wrong, however, they did not start it either.
There have always been Black and White and, as I have said in my blogs, history repeats itself and always will. It is better today than it was yesterday, it is just the circumstances that have changed. No matter how peaceful Black people are, there will always be White people that stir the pot and cause unrest. Black people try to work with White people although there is that under the table group that is resisting. In case you have forgotten, we had a Black President and an untold number of people vowed to resist everything he was trying to do, no matter if it was good or bad. Even today, the things he accomplished are being dismantled, including nationwide medical care. On many issues, he never had a chance. Oil trying to work with water. I pray for the USA.

Think Of Others

All my life I have tried to be compassionate toward others and think how I would feel if someone would do this or that toward me. There are people that feel the same way, however, there are those that think only of themselves and not of others until it concerns them or a member of their family. Normally, these people are affiliated with a sect or movement that have the same mind set.

I understand the demonstrations for reopening the cities and states that are closed because of the COVID-19 virus. I understand that businesses are hurting because they cannot operate. I understand that people want to work because they live from paycheck to paycheck and they have bills to pay and need food on the table. I also understand the local and state governments that have closed most facilities in order to attempt to stop the virus and deaths.

I am not going to try to explain what the federal government is doing because, as they have said, they do not believe the data or science and the states are on their own. I do not want to be too quick to take the chance of living or dying by getting back to normal too soon. I have fought in Viet Nam and a few other small conflicts and have survived. I have also been through isolation while performing my military duties and have survived. Some of the military duties were much worse than the stay-at-home rule that is in force today.

While researching the forces behind these demonstrations I have found they are funded and condoned by the GOP and their big money donors. Extreme illness or death is not a good tradeoff for financial gain. The push behind reopening everything is political. Good financial business gives the GOP a good standing for the upcoming elections, or so they think.

While watching the news on television I heard more than one interviewed demonstrator say they did not care about other people, they only wanted to go where they wanted to go and have fun. They even said that the other people had to take care of themselves because they will do whatever they wanted to do. They are not responsible for whatever will happen to others.

So, in a nutshell, we are all in this together. Not only the USA but the world. With the virus spreading, travel is out of the question. With the spreading virus, state-to-state travel is dangerous. With the spread of the virus everyone is still in danger of falling ill and dying. I was a city police officer and have seen people disregard a restriction because they wanted to have their way. They were the first one to call for help when things went wrong and wanted people to risk their life to save them.

I wonder what these demonstrators would say if they were denied care, when they fall ill from the virus, when they disregard the safe distance rule and the stay-at-home rule. They should not have their cake and eat it too. If they disregard all rules and do whatever they want to do, should a life be at risk to save them?

DO NOT INGEST ANY TYPE OF DISINFECTANT FOR ANY REASON. The life you save maybe your own!

 

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

Ethnic Cleansing

We have had ethnic cleansing not too long ago and it is happening now. What is ethnic cleansing? It’s the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration. Those of you that remember ancient history, recent history and today’s history will agree ethnic cleansing has been happening forever. And, yes, America (the original colonies and beyond) have committed ethnic cleansing many times. Our hands are not clean, they have much blood on them.

The seed was planted with the settlements in New England and Jamestown, Virginia. The English settled here (they were not invited), in order to escape King George and to setup a government without a king. To have the land to do this, the Native Americans had to be moved from land that the settlers wanted and needed. If the Native Americans would not move, they were annihilated. Even after the first thanksgiving, thanking and loving the Native American for saving them from the winter and showing them how to survive, the settlers eventually turned on them.

The same thing has happened from the beginning of time until now and will happen somewhere in the future. It’s hard to swallow, however, it happens time and time again. It’s not right but it happens. It can be prevented and should be prevented anytime there is a chance of it happening.

Most of the time the reasoning behind it’s happening is the want of land, hatred of an ethnic group because of an ancient argument that is not remembered or want of a potential wealth that the other may have. Sometimes it’s a religious reason (their religion is not like ours, etc.). This is effectual all over the world, perpetrated by many key countries and some small entities (gangs such as MS-13 in South America). To really see this, a person does not need to look far. Just have open eyes and ears before denying it could not happen, forcing the mind to realize that it is happening. All that is needed to keep this from happening is a soul and a moral aptitude, something our present American administration don’t seem to have. Congress is not doing anything about this except giving it some lip service.

Say you do not like this and doing something about it is two different things. Anyone can say how much they dislike a situation and do nothing to correct it. But, actively working toward correcting the situation as fast as possible is completely different than what is happening now. I have a feeling that we are not aware of something that is going on behind the scene. I have this gnawing feeling that it is something that will make all of us cringe.

The deed is done, and the USA have failed once again. As a retired military person, I know the American contingent is holding their heads down and is mad as hell having to follow the orders given them. It is a hard pill to swallow to be part of ethnic cleansing. This is one more thing that I do not like, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. And, the thing that make this even worst is there are those that willingly go along with this. When and where is the last straw?

 

It’s Changing

For quite some time I have wanted to live on one of the islands. In particular, Puerto Rico. It is something about the islands that fascinate me, draws me to them, fills me with wonderment and joy every time I visit them. The clean air. The blue waters. Wonderful people. Great weather. I just love the islands. Maybe, in another life, I lived on one of the islands. I don’t know. I really don’t know if I truly believe in transforming from another life. Maybe yes, maybe no. It just feels that way.

However, I have changed my mind about living on an island, even The Outer Banks. What changed my mind? Hurricane Dorian have made me change my mind. Last year, Puerto Rico was hit hard, and they are still trying to recover. They had a bad infrastructure before the storm hit them. Now the island government (they are a possession of the United States, therefore we are their federal government) can’t fight over whether to spend the money to repair the infrastructure or not. It will have to be done. Hurricane Dorian only gave them a glancing blow. They were lucky this time.

Hurricane Dorian literally destroyed Bahamas. That beautiful island is gone. Nothing standing. Parts washed away. People dead or still missing. It will take many years to rebuild the island and that is if they are not hit with another big storm. Then there is another problem for the island.

Bahamas depend on tourist money (cruise ships mostly) which account for most of the money. Next, talking about its economy, is banking. Everything for them to survive is blown and washed away. It will be years before tourists return or are able to arrive and spend money. I don’t know what they will do about the world-wide banking system they had. As I see it, the beautiful island, for now, is no more. When I was last there, it was wonderful, I didn’t want to leave. All I see on the television is total destruction.

I changed my mind about living on one of the islands because of that. With the weather changing and getting worst, it will happen again and again. Some people do not believe the weather is changing but I do. I vividly remember what the weather was like when I was a child and I have watched and felt the changes. The weather is much different now and is becoming harsher. You can’t fight Mother Nature nor change her, not even by dropping a bomb on her (may make her get mad and become worst plus spread radiation into the winds).

At least, on the mainland, I have a chance to get out of the storm’s way and only lose possessions and not my life. On an island, where can I go? Yes, I change my mind now because I didn’t think about bad storms before. I even watched bad storms hitting this mainland and people staying because they don’t want to leave their possessions. Possessions can be replaced, lives cannot. Other lives are in danger trying to save those that refuse to leave and need help to keep from dying.

The islands near the USA are not the only places that have big changes. There are typhoons that are getting larger than ever before and European winters colder than before. So, where can I go? I’ll stay here because I know the area and I can’t hide from Mother Nature especially if I am on an island. Plus, I would be stupid knowing what I now Know and knowing there is a climate change.

 

Marijuana

How should I write this blog when what I am writing about should have more space than what I am going to give it? I have just read the latest addition of National Geographic History magazine, entitled Marijuana. You should read it because it is an eye opener. I say that because for years, while in the military, I worked with a drug dog and later, while in the military, oversaw the dogs on my military base. I thought I knew a great deal about marijuana/hashish. By reading the entire magazine I have seen that I knew very little. What I mostly knew was government misinformation. It seems misinformation is everywhere which have been happening for hundreds of years and marijuana is only one example.

Mostly, this misinformation, coming from the various governments around the world, was for their benefit. They either wanted a certain situation to happen or for the benefit of getting more money. The use of marijuana has been going on for thousands of years. Prehistoric artifacts (jars) have been found with decorative twine around it which was hemp twine. Thousands of years ago (BC), people used hemp for clothing, rope, sails and medicine. Old Roman sandals have been made from hemp. Until the use of steamships, hemp ropes and sails were used because it was more durable. In some places, hemp was used as a form of money, accepted everywhere. It was used everywhere.

Here in America, the colonies were mandated to grow hemp in order to wean the British from Russia. Russia had a monopoly on the supply of hemp. It was found that Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others grew fields of hemp that were maintained by their slaves. Kentucky and Tennessee were states known to grow the most hemp. It was found that the warmer states (and countries) had plants with the greater amount of THC (the active drug found in the hemp plant). The warmer places produced the most THC from their plants for medicines and other beneficial uses. The cooler areas gave the most material for weaving into whatever was needed because THC was very small.

All governments wanted a high tax on the use of the plant. They all saw a monetary benefit for their treasury. Every time a government found that they were having difficulty getting the tax money due they tried to regulate the growing and usage as well as a penalty. That is exactly where the USA is today. Unless they can get money, then it is illegal.

Studies have been conducted for hundreds of years on the medicinal value of the plant. Time and time again it was found to have great value, because it is non-additive, is not a gateway drug, etc. States have made is noncriminal although the federal government still have it as a schedule 1 drug, along with heroin, cocaine, etc. The only time marijuana/hashish have been additive, with all the bad things that comes with that, is when amounts of heroin and/or cocaine is mixed with marijuana/hashish.

What I have written is a tiny amount of what I have read and, really, I don’t think I have given it the justice that is warranted. Get the magazine and read it for yourself. You will be surprised. Enlightened. When I was using drug dogs and, when I retired from the military (I became a city policeman) I was only doing a job. I never was for or against anything. I did the job I was hired to do. But I see that the information I was given was misinformation. I had to follow the law and do my job. Read the magazine and make up your own mind.

 

I’m Back

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted because this is the beginning of the warm season. I say ‘warm season’ because it starts a little later for some. If you are south of the equator, it is the beginning of the cool season. No matter, I was away on a cruise and had a good time. There was a couple of reasons my wife and I decided to take this early cruise, it left from Norfolk, Va. (twelve miles away) and it is just before the hurricane season. The other day, I saw on television that there is already one named storm in the Atlantic Ocean, but it will turn east and not strike the USA east coast.

This was our first time sailing with the Carnival Cruise Line. We normally travel with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and what a difference. We’ll stay with Royal Caribbean from now on. However, we went to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. All three stops were great. We have been to Nassau and Freeport before. We love those areas, in fact, we love the islands and try to go as much as possible. The one island I love the most is Puerto Rico and would love to live there.

We returned to the USA, spent a few days taking care of business at home and, the following weekend, off again. That is what being retired is all about. Come and go at will. No clock to punch. No cares except where to go next. We have three major places to go to (that I am aware of. There may be others that have escaped my memory) this year. I just love being retired.

One of my old military outfits is having a get together in California next month. Unfortunately, unlike what I requested of them, they gave short notice on the date of the reunion and we have something in that time slot that we cannot undo. I was stationed in California; my daughter was born there but my present wife has never been there. I would love to show her my old base and other things. Maybe we’ll go on our own. I know everything have changed since I was last there and it would be a refresher for me.

Since I have been incommunicado for three weeks, I see the political scene is really heating up (or should I say, getting hotter). The most shocking thing is the abortion laws being put into place by the southern states (I don’t remember any northern states being listed. I may be mistaken). This make it seem like secession all over again only, this time, against women. It is not a civil war although it is a war waged by Trump and his loyalists. Being that it is a war against women will make it a bitter fight. There are also the people called to come to a congressional committee, but they are refusing to appear (ordered to do so by Trump). Now there is all three branches of government involved.

Well, I am back, and I will attempt to put out my weekly blogs, but with a few lapses here and there, it’s the warm season and we’re retired. We have places to go and fun to have. I’ll leave you with a half dozen pictures or so.   

Black History

I will hit upon, just a fraction, a topic that would take a book to cover. Black History. This is a topic that some would say there is just a little of because they are ignorant of or just don’t want to see the facts. I say this because for many, many decades other races have attempted to quench Black History, a history that goes to the beginning of mankind itself.

I’ll start with Lucy. You know, the oldest bones ever found, and the bones were found in Africa, a continent of Black people. But, let us go to Egypt where the Pharaohs were, and pyramids are. Egypt is on the continent of Africa, Black people. Therefore, the Pharaohs were Black as well as all the people. Moses was found floating in a basket and the Pharaoh reared him as his own and the people never knew any difference. Therefore, Moses had to have been Black. Moses was Jewish, and Jesus, King of the Jews, had to have been Black.

Everyone remembers Socrates and Plato, great men. Most people don’t know that they studied at Alexandria which is in Egypt, which is in Africa, a library that is still in operation today. That mean Black men and Black institutions taught these men, men that others say are greater than the teachers (I truly doubt that), in the oldest library still in existence today.

The Black people of Egypt were so good in math and other things that the Pyramids and other things still exist today. Building, mortuary, writing, and many other things were honed by Black people. They even dabbed in pharmaceuticals, some still used today (one is aspirin). These were not ignorant nor lazy people. Other races of people constantly call them dumb, ignorant, non-human, incapable of learning anything, and on and on and on. We are harming ourselves today and only a few is taking advantage the inherent heritage that is within Black people.

When you look at the modern people, there are many, many Black people that show the brilliance that was given freely to others for thousands of years. No one wanted to be with nor work with Black people although Black people normally gets the hardest, dirtiest work but the job gets done with perfection. Remember all the wars the USA have been in and Black people have always been there (Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, to name only a couple). We had a President of the United States, although through eight years of office the Republican Party stated over and over that they will not work with or approve anything that he did, and I personally think he did a fantastic job with the opposition against him. Now they are undoing everything he did, whether good or bad, just because he got it pass Congress somehow.

Black people seldom get the credit they deserve when the credit is due. Most good accomplishments are claimed by someone other than the originator. I have seen a lot of credit given long after the person is dead, seldom to a living Black person. It is the same as giving flowers to someone that have died. I rather smell the flowers while I am alive, I can’t smell them when I am dead. It’s the same with Black History, let me read it or hear it now. Let me be proud of my forefathers now. Let us teach the children about our greatness now, later is too late, Black History is now.

 

Young People And Education

As usual, my wife and I went on another trip (casino/horseracing), this time to Hollywood Casino in Charlestown, West Virginia. We drove from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Imperial Plaza Senior Living in Richmond, Virginia. I ate breakfast with some old friends, went around the place greeting other old friends. We boarded a bus with the group that was going to the casino and had a pleasant trip. We stayed overnight because horseracing is always in the evening, and that was a lot of fun. We returned before the rain hit and got a hotel room in Richmond.

That same evening, we had a birthday celebration at Outback and had a good time being with a daughter, her husband and three daughters. The food and shenanigans were good which made me really miss seeing them as often as we used to. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to the hotel and I started reading messages on my pad.

The more I read the various messages, the more my mind kept straying to the English language structure and what I was reading. It seems that young people think it is so hip, cool or in fashion to misspell and/or butcher the English language. It is now natural to write in a bad way or to shorten a sentence or word. It is funny to them to write in such a way as it makes a normal person (senior citizen) cringe.

I know cursive writing is not taught in school these days. I’ve been retired from employment for a while and I wonder what employers think about this or are they making amends? I also wonder about banking; are banks making amends? What about misspelled words in the work place (ex: ‘your’ instead of you’re’)? In government as a whole? I remember, when I was in school, a child was graded on penmanship. Not anymore, I guess.

Today, young people write as if they are texting and must minimize the number of letters that are used in a message. Then, after all is said and done, it is a habit as well as ‘cute’, make them stand out among their peers. A few young people have tried to quantify the usage of such writing and have even suggested I should do it because it the way it is done now. I can not see myself putting a ‘z’ in place of ‘s’ or writing shorthand for words.

My own personal thoughts; the USA educational system is going to hell in a handbasket. I have asked college students common, easy questions and can not get an answer because they do not know. They have no idea what I am talking about. Something I knew in high school years ago. I have talked to high schoolers about things I knew in elementary school, they had no idea what I was talking about.

We, as Americans, supposed to have or want to have the best education system among all nations yet we are under-educating our children and putting up with the bad habits that they show. Why? What is the reasoning? Some say that they must try things on their own and become adults. They can not become adults and know right from wrong if they are never taught the right way and the continuous bad way is tolerated. We as older adults and the teachers and the educational system are doing our kids, our future, an injustice. Many other nations are not surpassing our system, they have surpassed our system. Our young people have been dummied down and will stay that way because I do not see any plans to change this.