A Word or Two About Some Obscure History

I guess it was a few decades ago that I recall watching an old black & white Sherlock Holmes movie.  In it, Holmes notices a man with military shoes and deduced that he had been a soldier.  Not was a soldier, but he had been in the Crimean War.

Immediately, I was launched into thought.  I knew I heard about the Crimean War, but I hadn’t an inkling of anything about it.  My wife gets angry with me for doing such things, but I immediately went into research mode.  I decided I’d not sleep until I found out about it.

I won’t bore you with all the info about the war, but there are some things I gleaned that most everyone should know.  It is a small peninsula jutting south from The Ukraine into The Black Sea.  It started at or about 1862, slightly before our Civil War.  The most famous battle was The Charge of the Light Brigade.  It was such a disaster that Tennyson wrote a poem about it.  Afterward, the method of selecting and training the British officer corps was drastically changed.

It is in during this war that Florence Nightingale became famous for her help of the wounded.  Yalta, a city on the south coast, was the place that the leaders of the US, Brittan and the Soviet Union met near the end of WWII.

For quite a while, I liked to test who really knows their history/geography.  I simply asked where Crimea was.  Of course the peninsula has become better known recently, since Russia took over the Peninsula.  This is a something of a paradox, being as that was the reason for the Crimean war.  Hence the war only delayed the takeover by Russia.

By the way, even with Crimea being in the news so much here lately, I would suspect there aren’t many that know where it is.  I am sure there are far fewer who know the history.

While the Crimean was very important, I won’t bother with all the details.  You can look it up yourself and I would suggest you do.  In spite of the fact that the little plot of land is so small, the land and the war were and are a very important part of history.  Besides, you will be able to impress your friends with how knowledgeable you are.

A Better World

Wish I thought of it, but I heard it on the radio, though I don’t know who said it.

I hope the guy doesn’t mind me repeating it, but I thought the idea so good it deserves repeating a dozen times or more.

“This world would be a far better place if we had a few more Dr. Ben Carsons and a few less Pelosis.”

If you like it, pass it along.  If you know who said it, please leave his name in a comment.

My Mistake?

I made a mistake. I know. It is a big disappointment for you.

Before I explain what the mistake was, let me take a minute to repeat a story I heard from the late news and commentator, Paul Harvey. It seems there was an armed bank thief that decided to hold up a bank one afternoon. He walked up to a teller, handed her a note and pointed a gun at her. To his dismay, she broke into a hard laugh. Finally, the confused would-be thief turned to see the reason for her outburst. The lobby was full of men pointing guns at him. You see, the would-be thief chose to rob the bank across the street from the local FBI office. Worse yet, it was payday.

Yeah, you can file that one in the really dumb criminal file. One would think that even a dumb thief would know better than that. After all, the building was well labeled. I don’t know how FBI agents are paid; maybe it’s twice a month or maybe once. It might have been the first of the month or the fifteenth. Then again it might have been the last day of the month. Then too, it might have been Fridays. Regardless, if you have plans on holding up a bank anywhere near any law enforcement office, you might want to check on normal paydays.

Not that it matters much to the story or my mistake, but the guy just might get away with it today. Most everyone has a direct deposit these days. I know I do. The fact is, tellers are getting kind of rare. Between ATM’s and electronic banking, there isn’t nearly the need for tellers. The place I go rarely has more than two tellers, one on the drive through.

At any rate back to my mistake. I should have gone to Yale or Harvard. I have recently learned it is quite easy to graduate from one or the other or both. Then I could have gone on and become a lawyer.

I am sure you are confused. You likely think it is difficult to graduate from these well known institutes of higher learning. Some of you may have even gone to one or the other of these universities and found it difficult. I simply can’t understand why anyone should have any difficulty at all.

Let me refer you to my story of the dumb thief, a criminal incapable of putting two thoughts together. He too could have graduated from one of the Ivy League establishments. He certainly has something in common with some of the graduates. I would expect that the former director and assistant director of the FBI likely went to one of these most respected schools. Then too, Agent strozyk and his lover each other likely have law degrees, though they might have had to settle for a less respectable college. Either way, someone should have told them about emails and the internet. After all, they did use emails. I think the dumb bank robber would have known better than that. Then there is the agent who is identified only as FBI agent 2.

Then, of course there is Hillary. I understand she has a law degree too. Boy! Did she do some dumb stuff. Fact is, she should be wearing one of those orange jump suits. She would be if real FBI agents investigated her. Then too, I guess it would also take a mediocre prosecutor. If it weren’t for the need of a law degree, anyone who finished his first year of law school would do.

They all believed they were going to get away with it. Then again, they never in the world figured that Hillary was going to lose the election. It was supposed to be a slam dunk. Now, if I might use the politically incorrect phrase, they just might be in heap big trouble.

…and, by the way, the colleges that they graduated from, they just might want to do what they can to disown them. Then again, maybe not. Given what they teach nowadays, they just might be real proud of them. If that is true, I don’t guess I made a mistake after all. I just thought I did. I don’t think I would want to tell anyone that I graduated from Harvard. I don’t think I would want anyone thinking I am that dumb. (If you graduated from any of these schools, you might want to hide or rid yourself of anything that remind you of it.)

Windows, Doors and Walls

Walls are wonderful things.  I have no idea when the first one was made, but it was likely well before recorded history.  Nonetheless, they do serve a number of really neat purposes.

They do provide protection, in many ways.  They protect us from the weather, ravenous wild animals, from humans that mean us harm and, of course, to some degree unwelcome relatives.

They also provide us with some degree of privacy.  They allow us to live four feet from our neighbor and still keep him or her from seeing or hearing us.  Then again, maybe you live in a condo or apartment.  The walls still provide some privacy, just not as much.

Walls have been built to keep invaders away.  The most famous of such walls, of course, is The Great Wall of China.  Some walls are better for this purpose than others.  The Berlin Wall, while not completely effective, did keep most East Berliners on the east side of the wall.  I guess it kept most West Berliners west of the wall, but that was not its primary purpose.  It is not as if the West Berliners were apt to attack those on the east.

To be sure, there are other walls built to keep people inside.  Prisons are the primary ones.  On the other hand, Israel built a wall that is very effective at keeping people out.

I guess I am going astray of my main subject, doors and windows.  I guess after they invented walls, it wasn’t long before men came up with doors and windows.  Naturally, they have undergone a few changes over the years.  Let’s face it, in all his glory, Solomon had windows, but they didn’t have glass.  I guess I could be wrong about that.  I wasn’t around to see them, but I don’t think glass really arrived on the scene until much later.  It meant, if he wanted to keep the cold out, he had to close the windows, likely made from wood.  On the other hand, the best he could do when it got to hot was to have a couple of slaves wave palm branches at him.  (It was the latest in air conditioning in the day.)

By the way, the pharaohs were not any better off and they considered themselves to be gods.  Yet with all their power, they could not cause the temperature to go down one degree.  The pharaohs, of course, had their walls and they were a little odd.  We can still see some of them near the Nile.  In spite of all their efforts to keep the grave robbers out, they still got into those pyramids.  I don’t think it really matters to them.  They don’t know it, so let’s not tell them.  It won’t hurt anyone to let them believe it worked.

By the way, getting back to doors and windows, the pyramids didn’t have any.  They were the ultimate in designed security, at least for the day.

The miraculous thing about modern day windows is that they allow us to see through walls.  Incredible as that might sound, it is true.  If you are inside a wall, you can see outside.  If you are outside, you can see in, provided the drapes aren’t closed.

Now doors, they are even more incredible.  They actually give us humans the ability to walk through walls.  Incredible as it might seem, they even allow us to carry objects with us as we go through.  Moreover, if we close and lock them, we are almost as secure as we would be if it were just a wall.  That’s right; they keep wild animals out.  Most of the time, they keep robbers out.

In a way, they accomplish the same thing a gate does with the big walls.  As I am sure you know, during the middle ages, they built large walls and gates to keep marauders out.  To some degree, they were effective, but no gate or wall can truly be said to be impenetrable.  Yet they still put a lot of effort into building the walls and gates.  They figured that there was no sense making it easy for the marauders.

Now it would seem, the experts tell us that a wall on the south border will not do any good.  They call me prejudice for even suggesting a wall.  Guess what.  The idea of a wall is not new.  They do work.  It has been proven for thousands of years.  Now suddenly, they stop working?  Maybe they have catapults or cannons and their friends shoot them over the wall.

Personally, I don’t think their knowledge is built on experience or common sense.  Instead, it has been influenced by bribes, AKA known as money and favors from lobbyists.  Take the bribes and our representatives just might be able to start thinking straight.

By the way, if we do want anyone to come north of the border, the wall would have a gate.  If they have the proper ID, if they are not carrying illegal drugs, if they are not criminals, then we can let them in.  On the other hand, if they disobey our laws, we can send them south with the warning that we don’t want them back.

Some would like to make it all sound complicated.  It isn’t.  If we want the bad guys to stay south of the border, we need to make sure that we don’t make it easy for them to enter.  Moreover, we need to do everything possible to discourage them from coming in the first place.  A wall goes a long ways in that direction.  It is sort of the reason our homes have walls.  They are not perfect, but they do provide some level of security.

Maybe Congress doesn’t want a wall, but we do.  It is time for them to ignore the bribes and start listening to us.  On the other hand, maybe it is time to send them all home and send some people in there that will actually pay attention to the constituency.  Just maybe they will not lose their memory before they take the oath of office.  Then too, we need to make sure that they are never allowed to use the word comprehensive.  The word must be removed from their vocabulary.

Cosby, Drugs & Rape

I believe that what Bill Cosby did to all those women is despicable. I must admit it was difficult to convince me that he was guilty, but now I realize he did some horrible things.
However, let’s put this in proper perspective.

I saw a man on TV tell a joke. The man said that God made wine to increase a man’s courage and decrease a woman’s inhibitions. Millions laughed, but not me. What the man was implying was rape. Indeed, such a thing is very close to what Cosby did.
Bill Cosby used Quaaludes. The so-called joke suggested alcohol. In the end, it has the same results, though ludes are stronger and more effective.

My first question is why does such a man get away with telling a joke like that and thousands of men actually practice such a thing while Bill Cosby has the book thrown at him.

In truth the one is rape just as much as the other. The only difference is the choice of drugs. To be sure, Cosby was also guilty of using an illegal drug, but in effect, both are guilty of rape.

Again, I do believe that Cosby is a monster and should spend the rest of his life in prison.

However, while we are at it, maybe we need to throw a few others in prison who have done the same thing, but used alcohol instead.

Of course, it can be said that the woman gets drunk with the intention of implying consent. The truth is, how do we know without something in writing? She can imply consent and claim she didn’t. On the other hand, she can withhold consent and the man can claim she implied consent.

The same thing can, of course, be said about Quaaludes. Did the women take the drugs, knowing and consenting to what followed? It truly creates a horribly murky swamp of legality and mores.

By the way, Bill Cosby is not the only one with such morality. As far as I know, Cosby is not even accused of sexual assault. Regardless, it is a well accepted fact that Bill Clinton is likely guilty of several cases of assault and rape. We are told, of course, that it was private and we had no business considering it.

Indeed, his wife became his primary defender to the point that she managed the so called “Bimbo eruptions.” To be sure, his method of defense was to attack his accusers.
John and Teddy Kennedy are held in high esteem by the democrats and yet we are pretty certain that each killed at least one woman. With their money and power, much of it was covered up. Even then, some of it seeped out into the public, though the media cooperated in the cover up.

There is another question that comes to mind about Cosby, or more accurately it is an observation. For decades, there was nothing said about what Cosby did. Apparently, the efforts to keep it quiet were successful. I wonder if the reason was that no one wanted it to come out, including the victims.

I know it is a horrible thing to suggest. Yet, it was not until he started telling young black men to be more responsible that the complaints started occurring.
It is not a suggestion. As I said, it is only an observation. Yet, it does make me wonder if he would have ever been accused of anything had he kept his mouth shut.

For those who would like see the books that I have published through Amazon.com you can look at my Author’s Page at

amazon.com/author/story_teller

…or, if you prefer, just look up my name on Amazon.com.

Fear

Fear can be a good thing, or not so good.  It can keep us from doing stupid things and it can cause us to do stupid things.  Sometimes when we face fear, we become heroes, sometimes cowards.

I don’t mind telling you, I faced my times of fear.  In 1968, I got off a bus in San Diego and put my feet on some yellow foot prints painted on the asphalt.  …and I was afraid.  I spent a year in Vietnam.  While there, I had my moments in fear, even before the plane landed in Da Nang.  I don’t guess I need to tell you, I was not alone in my fear.

Recently, we all saw what happens when two parents fear for the life of their child and a government fears for a revelation of a substandard health care.  It would appear to me that the English government had but one reason for not allowing a child to go outside the islands for possible care; Italy’s doctors might have succeeded where British doctors didn’t.  They feared that it would uncover that they might have done something wrong.

…and so it was that an innocent three-year-old child died at the hands of substandard health system that is being run by a substandard government.  Though the Prime Minister had nothing to do with the death, she must share the guilt.  There is no doubt in my mind that she could have done something, but, instead she ignored the situation, as if she never read or heard about it.

My guess is that she was acting, or perhaps more accurately, not acting out of fear.  After all, she might lose votes in Parliament if her government were to be exposed for their fear.  Certainly, the last thing Parliament wants is to have the world find out that their wonderful health care system isn’t all it is supposed to be.

I don’t know if anything could have been done for the child.  I do know that it shows a pattern.  It is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last.  To me, it sounds like a good reason to avoid going to London on holiday, especially if you have children.  If your 2 year-old gets sick while there, you just might not be able to get him out of the country.

More-than-that, we will never know what was wrong with the last child.  No one outside of the country will be able to look at the body.  No one will be able to tell the world that some mistake was made during his diagnosis or his treatment.

It is but one small reason that a nation’s government should never manage healthcare.  Just think, if we had national healthcare, that poor child might be yours one day.  He will lie at death’s door.  Even if you know a way to bring him back to good health, even if you know a doctor who can heal your child, there will not be one thing you will be able to do.  The healthcare system will be afraid that you just might prove them wrong and they can’t afford something like that.

If your child does die because of some blunder by a state doctor, who is there to find out?  Certainly not the state.  They have too much to fear to do something like that.

I once heard someone say, “If you think healthcare is bad now, just wait until it is free.”  It is one one of my greatest fears.  You see, I lived under single provider healthcare while I was in the Corps.  My oldest son almost died of tonsillitis though he was treated by Navy doctors for a week.

Finally, I went to a civilian doctor who said he was barely able to breath because his tonsils were so swollen.  I really hate to think of what might have happened if I didn’t have that option.  Just remembering how close I was to losing him makes me more afraid than I ever was in Vietnam.

 

Casualties of War

Every war has casualties.  It is certainly one reason we should avoid them.  People are wounded maimed and killed.  Beyond that, there is usually a great deal of damage.  After WWII, there was a lot of rebuilding that had to be done, on both sides.  London certainly had its share of damage.  Two or three cities in Germany were leveled by bombing.  Then, of course there was Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The two cities were virtually rubble after the atomic bombs were dropped on them.

I am not writing to say anything pro or con on using the bomb, though I do believe it the proper decision.  There was a decision by the Japanese Emperor to gain control over the Pacific and it was decided by Hitler to gain control over Europe.  It is how the war started.  It is indisputable.  Had we not defended ourselves, we in this country would be speaking either Japanese or German, possibly both.  Our country might have been split down the middle.

Almost immediately after WWII came to an end, another war started, the so-called Cold War.  It was called The Cold War because the enemies did not attack each other.  Instead, we just threatened each other.  To be sure, there were some hot spots in The Cold War.  People died in Korea.  Who truly knows how many died in Vietnam and the surrounding countries?  Lives were lost in Poland and Hungary.  Others were imprisoned.  Though the Soviets did their fighting from behind surrogates, the motives were the same as the leaders of Japan and Germany, world dominance.

The Soviets went after Europe and China went after the Pacific.  They each had a doctrine in hand promising world peace, of course, under their control.  They promised a world where there would be no rich and no poor.  The phrase they liked to use was “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.”  Oddly, there have been a number of people who attributed the saying to the Bible.  It’s not there.  I know.  I have read the Bible cover to cover many times.

I guess I am getting off subject a little.  After all, my subject is supposed to be the casualties of war.  …and for a cold war, there were many casualties.  Perhaps the biggest casualty is FREEDOM.  The commies took over China, for the good of the people.  I don’t see much freedom in China, though the commies have had control in China almost since WWII.  As for equality, there isn’t much of that.  Well, let’s put it this way.  The leaders have more equality than everyone else.  The same might be said about the Soviets.  While the USSR might have fallen, it’s still the same leadership and their goals are the same.  Not much freedom in Russia either, no matter what the country is called.

As for the commies, they are still very active.  To be sure, the US suffered many casualties, that is, besides those that fell on the battlefield.  The fact is that the communists have taken over our colleges, our news media (almost completely), Hollywood (entertainment), as well as several other institutions.  They have infiltrated our government and our legal system.  If we don’t have 4 judges on The Supreme Court that aren’t communists, they are close to it.  They certainly enforce communist ideas, including atheism.  The lower courts are full of such judges too.  More important, had President Trump not won the last election, it would be five commies instead of four.  …and, by the way, they have even infiltrated the churches.  Those churches that refuse to accept communist ideas are pressed to make inappropriate changes to their Christian doctrines, regardless of what is taught in the Bible.

It is all being sold under the guise of being politically correct, same as communist.  If you truly know the communist doctrines and you compare the two, you will have to agree with me.  Moreover, it is the purpose of the communist to divide in order to takeover.  If you think it over, you will realize it is also the purpose of the democrats.

As I look over the country as it is today, I wonder if it is too late to stop the communists.  Each day I see control of another small aspect of our country taken from us.  For a while, I thought maybe President Trump will be able to pull us out, but now I don’t know.  He is being assaulted from every direction.  I don’t know how much longer he will be able to stand up to them, when even the RINOs refuse to support him.

The fact is that if we don’t stop the communists, the country will degrade to examples of Mexico or Russia… or China.  Is that really what we want?  Do we really want a nation that pollutes the air like China?  Do we want a nation with the freedoms of Russia?  Is it really such a good idea to starve as those who live in communist countries?

The Democrats like to use a term, compromise.  I have a different name for it, giving up land.  Each time there is a compromise, we give up a little land.  After a while, we don’t have any land left.  …or anything else for that matter.

I’m 70.  I won’t live here much longer.  It won’t be my problem.  If you ignore the commies, it will be yours.