Burning Gas-White Sands

In 1945 I remember seeing a full-page photo on the cover of the Chicago Times. It showed a giant mushroom cloud. The photo was of the first atom bomb explosion released by Uncle to the public. Ever since then, I have had a secret wish to visit the site where they tested the first A-bomb. I learned on an earlier trip to New Mexico that a group of physicists designed and built the bomb at a place called Los Alamos. The government built the lab as a top-secret project under the code name “Manhattan Project.” Under that moniker, Uncle secretly bought thousands of acres of land in New Mexico for building the atomic bomb.

There are volumes of books written about the development, and one can visit the Los Alamos Lab to see real life-size models of Fat Boy and Little Man, the two bombs they developed and eventually dropped on Hiroshima and  Nagasaki, Japan.

The first tests took place on a site two hundred miles south of Los Alamos, in the White Sand desert. It became a missile test site and remains so today.

Our visit to Alamogordo, New Mexico was to see the White Sands National Monument. White Sands Monument is not where the bomb first blew up, but is directly south of it by about a hundred miles. The terrain and the color of the sand is the same in both places.

We approached the monument from Alamogordo on highway US 70 and passed by Holloman Air Force base on the way. I read that this road is sometimes closed when Uncle tests missiles. I guess blowing up civilians passing through on the way to work is a possibility. Sure enough, I saw a sign along the way warning that road closures occur during missile tests. I also read that one should visit the monument in the evening at sunset to get the greatest visual impact. We did that. Seeing the sun set over these magnificently white sand dunes was spectacular. A line of cars clogged the gate. There were hundreds of people coming to watch the show. Many visitors, we learned, came to  picnic at one of the many shaded tables provided

It is hard to describe the beauty of the place. The road reminded me of driving in winter when there is deep snow and it is blowing and drifting all around. The difference being that we had the air conditioner set at seventy degrees in evening air that was still ninety degrees. Peggy and I stopped at several spots and got out to walk around. She was not up to dune climbing. I didn’t think the dunes were as high or as tough as the Sleeping Bear Dune in Michigan, but we enjoyed the views from the road. The sun was down and the light began getting dim, yet not many people were leaving.

The following morning we revisited the Monument to get the feel of bright sun, heat, and the whiteness. The many people of last evening were gone, and the dunes seemed lonely. My point and shoot camera with the digital display was useless in the brightness. I was literally pointing and shooting to take pictures without seeing what I had framed. Peggy stayed in the car because the heat was too intense as was the sun. The whiteness of the sand hurt my eyes even while wearing polarized sun glasses.

Later that evening, I discovered that Peggy had mistakenly double medicated herself in the morning and was not very much into the experience. Thank God I was not aware of it during the day.

We stayed for a couple of hours, I left the car running with the air for Peggy, and took photos from many points of interest, they all looked the same, white. I actually left the car in some of the pictures just to give some perspective. As we left, we made one more stop  and toured the visitors center.

The miles driven, and the gas burned to see White Sands Monument was well worth it. I rationalized that I was close enough to the A-bomb test sight to satisfy my secret wish and we left town by another route.

The story will continue.

In the meantime, please enjoy the photos.

White Sands National Monument at Sunset

White clouds, white sand dune, white road, brown grass

People Walking the Dunes

A Solitary Yucca Growing in the Morning Sun

Only the Strong Survive

The plant establishes a root system that digs deep. Then the wind removes the sand from around the roots leaving a cylinder of white sand as a post on which the plant lives.

Blue on White

A sand drifted road plowed, and looking like mid-western snow.

The Avalon Death Star in Blizzard White against White Sands.

A picnic area in the heat of the morning sun. The night before the tables were all filled with people.

A hardy stand of Yucca.

The White Sands National Monument Visitors Center with ocotillo just beginning to bloom.

The Biggest Lie Ever Told

Remember when POTUS told us he was going to go over the budget and trim it with a scalpel line by line? When does that start? I want to watch. It’ll be funnier than a Carol Burnett and Tim Conway skit.
The current deficit, budget, and debt will require nuclear bombs to dent. Who the hell does this guy think we are?  He believes we are the enemy  and we must be punished for crimes against humanity. By blowing traditional Democrat smoke  out of his anal opening he thinks we will buy the story. Some people do. They are the ones who worship the ground that Obama walks on. They are his choir. Those of us who have to work for a living can see through the smelly brown smoke to understand that the President of the United States of America is committing treason by willfully destroying our economy, and our world status with his scalpel. The scalpel is a machete when it comes to cutting those things that make America exceptional. He is transforming America into a fourth world nation. What is scarier than his transformation is the choir that buys it.
Let us all pray to reverse the transformation.
Here is what should be done:
  1. The entire Federal Government with all departments must be shut down and defunded. That cuts the budget to zero. Then the argument begins as to which crucial services must be funded at a minimal level. Each Federal Department must be made to justify its existence with verifiable facts. For instance, the Department of Agriculture must justify why it has to grant subsidies. The Department of Education must justify why it shouldn’t be dispersed to the states. The Department of Immigration must justify why it needs money to continue its disregard for following immigration laws. The Department of Defense must justify why they need to be in existence. I’d be willing to bet that none of these departments will come up with a simple reason for their justification other than they are following the mandates of a law passed by the Congress.
  2. Congress should make it their goal to review the performance of the laws they pass to determine their efficacy. If a law is costing money with no return on the investment, it should be repealed.
  3. Government workers (that includes The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches) must follow the same healthcare and retirement policies as the private sector. i.e. they get Obamacare and Social Security and pay for the privilege. None of this nonsense that their employer gives them a Cadillac plan. If they want a Cadillac plan let them buy it on the open market and then pay the Obamacare tax on it.
  4. Unions for Government workers are gone. People believe they need unions when the company management takes advantage of them. It is their way to speak out against the Fat Cats to get their fair share. We all know that the Government management will never take advantage of their workers. They would never push them to work more than is required, so why complain? Why do they need to bargain for more than a fair share.
  5. Congress must take responsibility for their actions. If they are afraid the liability is too high, let them buy mal-practice insurance to protect themselves from future failures of their laws. This is what doctors and nurses do.
  6. Put a cap on how much new spending can be done in a given legislative year. If a single law, like Obamacare for instance, puts a strain on the system, that is it until such a time as the country can afford another law. If it takes ten years to make the quota of a single expensive law, then so be it.

Think about what you would do if you lost your job and had to cut back to live within your means. Would you continue to spend? Where would you get the money? Who would lend it to you?  You would be forced to start with a clean slate. Why is it we allow our government to whom we pay taxes continue to be irresponsible with our money?

Try this folks, hold your breath for as long as it takes the President to use his scalpel to cut some serious money from his budget.

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