Thursday, March 31, 2016

1958

1958

The 1950's were an exciting and turbulent time in America. Things were changing and some of these changes would not be felt until the 1960's and beyond.

Elvis Presley was a superstar, this made him the heart throb of every girl and the bane of every parent. His sexually explicit performances and rebel persona was selling records. Then came the draft. In 1956 Elvis turned 21 making him eligible for the draft. On his 22nd birthday he was classified 1-A and would be drafted early in 1958. However, his movie contract with Paramount allowed him to defer his actual enlistment until late March 1958.

Elvis was offered the chance to serve in the Special Services. If he accepted he would have special housing, and his life would change very little. Col. Tom Parker, Elvis's manager had a better plan. He knew if Elvis performed for the Special Services he would not be paid, and all of his performances would be filmed and recorded, then sold all over the world. Col. Parker convinced Elvis that if he enlisted as a regular soldier he could gain the trust of the parents and end up a bigger star. And that is exactly what happened in 1958.

Orville and Wilbur Wright had proven that powered flight was possible in 1903. It was not until 1926 that the federal government created rules for flight under the Department of Commerce. In 1938 the Civil Aeronautics Authority was given the task of air safety, airports, and air traffic control. In 1940 president Roosevelt split the CAA into two parts. A new agency the Civil Aeronautics Board was tasked with accident investigation, and regulating the financial rules for airlines. This all changed in 1958.

After a series of mid-air collisions the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created a single authority for all aspects of air travel. The Federal Aviation Agency was created in 1958.

America was stupid. Well at least according to the government. In 1958 the National Defense Education Act was passed. Its goal was to increase education in technological fields to counter the growing threat posed by the Soviet Unions launching of Sputnik. By issuing student loans and other aid to schools at all levels the government hoped to increase the brain power of America.

Of course that leads us to the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA was to have a civilian vs military leaning. NASA was intended to create a peaceful application of science and space exploration. Space, in 1958.

The Soviet Union ended its occupation of Romania in 1958. Having occupied Romania since 1944, the Romanians had gone through extensive “reeducation” and its political fate was tied to the Soviet Bloc.

In July 1958, Lebanon was threatened by a civil war between Maronite Christians and Muslims. Much of the crisis had to do with the Christians wanting to remain pro-western, and the Muslims wanting to join the United Arab Republic that had been formed by Egypt and Syria. U.S. Marines and Lebanese Army forces maintained control of the port and airport of Beirut. When the president of Lebanon completed his term the crisis ended.

It all happened in 1958.






Monday, March 14, 2016

An open letter to Government. The Veterans Administration.

An open letter to Government.

I am writing you to illustrate an issue that you have created for us. By us I mean “We the people”. You may have heard of us? I know that for the most part you only think of us during election cycles, but we suffer at the hands of your political wrangling every day.

Today an issue crossed my desk that I can not ignore. It appears you are considering increasing the salary of the Veterans Administration's administrators. As a retired USAF veteran this is not only appalling, but an insult to every veteran in this nation.

I am lucky. I do not have to use the VA for my healthcare, but many of my fellow veterans do. I have friends caught up in the system just to get the healthcare. Others, are caught up in the system receiving sub-standard healthcare. This is an issue that I personally find a failure of Government. And you, our elected representative are Government.

Let me illustrate something you may not be aware of. In the military we are a team. We give everything we have both physically and mentally to completing our responsibility to the team and this country.

If we fall down and get hurt, we get up and continue to push ourselves to reach the objective. Whether it is war time or not is not the issue. Military members are hurt and killed everyday, even in the politically defined era of peace. Only in those cases where we have been hurt so badly we can no longer reach the objective to we seek medical help. That is what we are expected to do.

Yet, when we finish our terms of service, we are expected to prove our injuries are related to military service. Why are you requiring this? If I had gone to the hospital for every boo boo that might cause me issues in the future, I would have not been very effective. This is the problem of Government, I am expected to do my best, and rewarded with the least.

Oh I have medals, and shiny ribbons. Even letters that say really nice things about me. Ever tried putting those things on a wound? They don't do much. Yet my fellow veterans must prove to you that they have injuries that apply to their military service. News Flash, everything that is wrong with me today is related to my military service. And there are no records of them, because as a kid I had no idea they would be required.

So I will be as gentle as I can with my recommendations. I am only gentle because I am aware most of you never served in the military.

Lets make it so the VA has to prove that our present issues are NOT related to military service. Lets stop pretending to worry about fraud, waste and abuse, and start holding the VA administrators responsible for perpetrating fraud, waste, and abuse. For a VA official to claim they were not aware is an admission of their incompetence. FIRE THEM. If I had told any of my commanders that I was not aware of my troops screwing up, they would have taken my stripes and sent me packing.


As our representatives I hold you personally responsible for this issue. I consider the issues with the VA to be an indicator of your ability to other parts of your job. Don't waste my time telling me what you are Going to Do, Do it.   

Friday, March 11, 2016

Florida Tuesday

Florida Tuesday



As I hurtle towards the Florida Primary I have been reflecting on the primary race. The Democrats have made it easy for me...they are both nuts. So, you won't see them in this article. Now the Republicans on the other hand have had so many candidates I don't remember who most of them were. Thankfully most of them eventually dropped out. Its not that all these candidates were bad. In fact, I would have voted for most of them.

At first I was concerned that Jeb Bush would march to a coronation. Its not that Jeb is a bad guy, or would make a bad president, but Jeb vs Hillary just didn't sound like a winner. Of course Scott Walker, who really had me at first, either saw the light, or just made a show. Then there was the 300 pound ego in the room, and I don't mean Chris Christie.

I know, some of my friends like Trump. So I suggest you stop reading this right here. For those of you that are left, lets talk about Trump. Since he started his campaign he has said...nothing. Listening to his speeches are a lesson in bad scripts. Do you want a used car salesman as president? He's yuge. A big ol' stupid Yankee.

That really only leaves us with Ted, Marco, and that Kasich guy. I'll get Kasich out of the way first.

Kasich is so moderate he could have been Al Gore. We had Al Gore...and he burned out (I hope you get the reference).  I'm in shock that I can even spell the guys name.  No disrespect intended.

Now it comes down to who can beat Hillary? Which brings up an important point...and Trump reenters the conversation. Hang on to your reading goggles this is going to be a wild one.

In 2008, a large number (yuge) stayed home because Ron Paul didn't make the nomination. In 2012, a large number stayed home because Ron Paul didn't make the nomination. In both cases, if Ron Paul had gotten the Nomination, Obama would have beat him. So, the results would not have changed.

Today things have gotten really freaky. If Trump wins a large portion of the Ted and Marco crowd will stay home. If Ted wins, the Trump and Marco crowd stays home. If Marco wins (the only one that CAN beat Hillary), the Ted and Trump crowd stays home. So, in the end...Hillary wins.

So, in short, the people that took their ball and went home in 2008 and 2012, have now infected everyone.  Thanks for that. You have given America a huge case of COOTIES. 

STOP...you are just about to say but what if....

Hillary gets indicted? Ain't gonna happen.

But my guy can convince the others to join with us. Lord have mercy you are dense to believe that.

Trump can make it happen. Ok Jethro, Jed and Granny want their idiot back.

So you...you are the one that makes the decision. Will you vote for your enemy to beat an evil, or will you make my words come true?

 I used to hear, “I want my country back?” It sounded like a bunch of children crying for more ice cream. YOU are the one that can take this country back. Expecting a politician to do it for you is not only lazy, but just plain un-American. Now go take that country back.
    Stay tuned for more on what you can do to take your country back.