45 years ago today a thing happened. Three MEN left Earth with goal of climbing to the moon. As many did, I watched them begin their climb safely from in front of a TV here on Earth.
A few days later I also watched them put bootprints on The Moon. I was in awe, as were many. I also relished their safe return.
The other Moon missions came and went with less fanfare. BUT we had done it! YES! WE had done it as a country as well.
Some time later I had the pleasure of working with some that had supported those missions from Hawaii. We were gearing up for The first Space Shuttle launch. They had only been able to listen over the NASA loop back then, and had never seen a launch in real time. Mainland TV was delayed until later.
Later we newbies asked about how they felt. They swung the dish ON the moon to look at some experiments still there… And said WE helped to do that.
Now we depend on The Russians to carry warm bodies into orbit, etc.
According to the calendar, yes it is July. Summertime. Vacations at the beach. Weekends in the mountains. Fun in the sun. And Independence Day celebrations with friends.
Meeting with old friends. That’s on my agenda this week. It will be fun, there will be sun, and the annual fireworks display. And food. Lots of food and good company. Is there a better way to celebrate this wonderful country?
Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads and father figures out there. Here’s hoping that your day was fun, or at least interesting.
This is one of those bittersweet days. Some of us can no longer celebrate it. Some of us haven’t for a very long time. There are invariably at least a few moments of grief on days like this without our fathers.
My own father lost his father when he was eleven. His near fixation with enjoying each moment of life was likely influenced by that loss. It was a good lesson.
Just because some of us don’t consider this a particularly happy day, I hope that everyone else can make a few good memories with their fathers and with their children.
Of course there are lessons to be learned from this entire fiasco. There always are, even when everything goes quite well. The results of not learning or not doing the right thing can become tragic. It appears that that is exactly what happened in the Bergdahl case.
As more and more information becomes public about Bergdahl, it appears that there were plenty of opportunities to have avoided this mess entirely, if only someone, anyone, had done the right thing instead of the easy thing. Missed opportunities turned into a mess which has caused too many people a lot of unnecessary pain at best, and grief and suffering at worst. Lives have been changed. More lives may yet be changed.
With an apology for my last post which reflected more hopelessness than usual, do we dare hope that the entire truth will be told about Bergdahl? It looks like too many people are posting similar accounts in too many places for it to be swept away by the lies and propaganda from the usual sources.
The parallels to Benghazi are obvious. The difference is that time has passed since the initial Bergdahl news and reports about it were published by sources commonly regarded as unbiased. Add to this the number of witnesses who are no longer subject to direct reprisals for telling the simple truth and we have a situation where members of the military, veterans, and their supporters are literally exploding with comments questioning the message the political hacks would prefer be heard instead.
Some might question the amount and strength of the backlash to Bergdahl being declared a “hero” by the left. Too many people already knew that he was a deserter. What has been misunderstood by those who would reward him for his treason is that we kept our mouths shut during his “captivity” because it served no useful purpose to do otherwise. What has kept us mostly quiet is part of the honor code which most of us consider nearly sacred – we don’t leave our own behind, or do anything to jeopardize their continued existence, even when the one we need to retrieve is a traitor.
Bergdahl doesn’t deserve our sympathy. He does deserve our insistence that he be held responsible for his decision to desert his post and the additional decision that he apparently made to collaborate with the enemy. Odds seem to increase by the hour that he will be held accountable for his actions. All of them.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s finally and at last been released from captivity, or whatever it was. He may now face disciplinary action for his desertion, or whatever it was.
Not certain that much discussion is warranted beyond that until all the official inquiries are completed. Or the ones which have already occurred are made public. Or something.
An American soldier has been returned, at great cost, but returned. Whether the terrorists exchanged for him was worth the consequences may be moot unless “the plan” was to keep them indefinitely. When were they going to be released with or without the exchange? And how many Gitmo detainees have been released while Bergdahl was a POW, or whatever he was?
A more pressing matter is the mess at the VA. Veterans are still dying instead of being cared for by the VA. Union thugs are still deciding if and when veterans will be treated by the VA. Incompetent employees can still not be fired for refusing to report for work or do their jobs in a minimally acceptable fashion at the VA. Managers and others are receiving monetary bonuses for encouraging and perpetuating fraud.
Some of us are not being distracted even as we are happy that Bergdahl has been released.
One nice thing about the current controversy at the VA is that some of us older folks are seeing something we thought might never occur again in this country. There are extremists and people all along the continuum between the extremes uniting, this time in their disgust. Of course, much that we hear from politicians is what they perceive must be said if they are to be reelected. As that simply reflects the mood of the nation, it is good for all of us.
We have spoken of the warrior class here upon occasion. Most of polite society wants a warrior class to protect them but otherwise does not want to hear about them. While they certainly don’t want to see the warrior class mistreated, in general society doesn’t want to hear about the details. Society makes a contract with the warriors and expects others to fulfill the contractual agreement.
Anyone who is not fuming over the VA situation need read no further. These few words would have no impact on such heartless ingrates masquerading as human beings, so don’t waste your time.
It seems pretty clear that any randomly selected 10 of us could solve most of the problems at the VA in under 24 hours because we have the will to do it. The creators of the problem did not. They were and are a bunch of self-serving bureaucrats with little to no interest in delivering the service for which they are being paid. It’s just that simple. A few of the things I would do were I king:
- Fire every at-will employee and every employee who belongs to a union. Send out notice on a Monday with instructions to return a resignation NLT Friday at noon. This is a one-time good deal. The resignations will be sorted over the weekend, with criminal charges filed on Monday against every employee who did not comply with the instructions. Malfeasance, for starters, up to and including murder and/or manslaughter. Those who resign voluntarily may even reapply for their old or a similar job. Those who do not comply will be permanently barred from any government check.
Two or three times a year some of us older folks get a bit tangled up in memories (or memories of memories). Late April and much of May are my primary dates.
Late April because my pop was declared KIA in Korea on April 25, 1951.
Early May because I was discharged from the Navy after spending over year around Vietnam, on May 9, 1969.
And then there is Memorial Day. The advertisements for sales and off topic events are difficult to avoid.
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Back in the old days we could actually celebrate May Day without a thought of Communism or other anti-American ideologies. That’s just another thing the hippies and weirdos took from the American tradition.
It really was grand when we had May poles, little girls with flowers and ribbons in their hair, and generally celebrated new growth, rebirth, and all that silly hopeful stuff. Yes, there was something rather pagan about it, but nobody particularly cared. It was fun. School sanctioned fun and physical activity. Kids practiced running in circles around the May poles, weaving ribbons around the pole, and other such things. Mothers and teachers invariably ended up with flowers. And everyone danced and smiled a lot.
Somewhere in the mid-50’s it was given over to the “workers of the down-trodden world” instead. Parades of armaments through Red Square became the image of the day instead of the happy faces of smiling children.
The old way of celebrating May Day seems much healthier. It’s a very good memory.