Tag Archives: USA

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.

 

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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.

 

Funerals

I am scraping, at least for this blog’s issue, what I originally wrote and will write about this weekend’s funerals. We have lost two great people, in our time line, and they both will be sorely missed. These were contrasting funerals; one somber and one long with hype. Both were expected to be the way it happened.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and will never be forgotten. Her music will live on forever. The funeral was over eight hours long and most of the entertainers of song were there. The funeral was filled with music coupled with speeches. Quite a few celebrities sang her songs and a few sang traditional songs that Blacks usually sing during high spirited church services. The eight hours were long although the music didn’t make it seem so.

She passed on as the queen she was. During her lying in state to the interment, she had three wardrobe changes and a viewing by thousands of people. She was driven in a nineteen forty nine (I think) white hearse, the same one her father was carried in. From all over the country pink Cadillacs were bought in and the long rows of cars were parked outside the church. This was in remembrance of her hit song “Pink Cadillac”. What a sight and what a way to go.

People were there that I have not seen in a long time and are very old as well. They all looked and sounded good. Stevie Wonder started his time by playing the harmonica, something I have not seen him do in many years, before he played the piano and sang. The church was jubilant with all the music and singing.

Senator John McCain’s funeral was solemn and the church was filled with dignitaries from all parts of the political world as well as both sides of the political aisle. Former President Obama and Former President Bush both spoke. President Trump was dis-invited and the eulogies, which include his daughter Meghan, took swipes at Trump. It was not a surprise.

I admired this man, not only as a military veteran but also as a politician. This was one person that was well known to reach across the aisle and work with everyone. He would disagree and, when shown something different that he could go along with, he would be man enough to agree. He did not put party ahead everything but cared about what was right, lawful, helped the USA, no matter the party view.

Unfortunately, Senator Graham, who was his very beat friend, a person that stood beside him on many, many views, and was against Trump as was Senator McCain is now staunchly in the President’s corner He has reversed almost everything he have said in the past. Oh, what can happen in a week (a day?).

So I watched funerals and I wonder, as I have in the past, what will mine be like? I really don’t want all the hoopla that go on (it’s a waste of money, in my opinion), just have a few prayers and bury me. I just hope I have lived up to the hopes and standards that was expected of me. I hope I haven’t done any wrong to anyone. I also hope I have been some help to someone that needed it. We all must pass on some day, let’s hope there is something good to say after you’re gone.

 

Tomorrow Is Not Promised

A while ago I thought I had found true retirement and what it really felt like until I moved to Virginia Beach. My wife and I walked to the beach, she sat and got a lot of sun while I fished. Life is great and I will try to take full advantage of it with the little time I have left on this earth. Most people do not think about their age or that time is dear. Tomorrow is not promised, you can leave this world at any moment.

I never thought about that, I always lived as though I will be here forever. Then, one Sunday morning in 1971, while I was stationed in Germany, I had a massive stroke and awaken two weeks later. My right side, from head to toe, was paralyzed. I was given a fifty percent chance of having another stroke, a fifty percent chance of surviving another stroke and only ten more years to live. Well, I am still here and did not have another stroke. God is good and have given me a good life but tomorrow is not promised.

Today, like yesterday, I live one day at a time never forgetting that today or tomorrow could be my final day. For more than forty years I have reminded myself of this but I do not let it get me down or stop me from living life to it’s fullest, as much as I can. I also think about people that can not live life to it’s fullest or have the opportunity to even try.

It is a shame to be an American, to be a part of separating children from their parents. Yes, we all are guilty because we are the American that allowed the situation to happen in the first place and then let it come to a tragic point before opposition was voiced. The opposed should have made their voices heard from the beginning, not a week or two later. Although an order have been signed does not mean that this is over or it will not happen again.

How will the children be reunited with their parents when most can not tell their full names, parents full names, where they are from or any valuable information that will garner a possibility of reuniting them? It is a big mess the USA administration have made and they don’t show any sorrow for causing it. Mockery, laughter, snide remarks is all that is heard from the administration as well as blaming other politicians and/or the other party. Have anyone heard the majority leaders speak up yet?

We as seniors suppose to have the maturity to do the right thing, should not wait to see what happen but just do the right thing. Fall elections will be here shortly and the right thing must be done to get back onto the right track. We can then begin to allow people to live the life that we live. There is plenty of room for others, right beside me and you, and we all can ride this good life train together. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone therefore things must be set right today. Judgment could be today or tomorrow but whenever it come, and it will, it will be no use telling God that you meant no harm. You can see the harm and sorrow. You would not want to be treated this way nor have your children go through what the immigrant children are going through. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Do the right thing by loudly voicing disapproval, voting the right way and being an upstanding senior that will lead the younger generation in the right direction. Don’t quietly mumble you don’t like what’s happening, say it loud, also… Don’t believe it will get better on it’s own, it will not, believe me. Tomorrow is not promised nor the remainder of today.