Another Sub-culture

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Many times while traveling in National Parks I struck up a conversation with a worker. They were either behind a counter or cleaning a campsite. I thirsted for knowledge about how and why they got the jobs they had. What I learned is that many of them were retirees who just wanted to spend time in a beautiful place. Who could argue that? Spend a summer in Yellowstone National Park, or Sequoia, or a winter in the Everglades, why not?

I often thought of myself doing the same, but never had the nerve to follow through. Mostly, because my wife Barb wasn’t on the same page as I was. Then after she died, I did embark on a solo journey, but it wasn’t to a national park. I rented a condo in Arizona for two months to grieve. We had often talked of retiring to Arizona, and this was my way of taking her with me to finally do it. Never mind all the excuses I had before, my kids were grown and on their own, I retired from my job, the house could stand a winter without me. What about my  friends? Well, except for one young lady, I didn’t have any friends, and she was too young to leave her job to come with me. The telephone would be my link to friends.

This week I picked up a book titled Nomadland, it spoke to me, and I loved it. This author chronicled the life I had dreamed of creating for myself. There is a big difference between my way and the way of the people she wrote about. Her people were all sixty somethings who lost jobs, and then homes, and were left without a way to live. In order to survive they managed to learn to live in vans, trailers, motor-homes, tents, or anything that could shelter them from elements because the only jobs they could find didn’t pay enough to rent a room and eat too.  Jessica Bruder followed these people for three years, and even joined them in a van of her own to experience what it was like to live in their community. There are thousands of these nomads living this lifestyle because of the independence they get and because they can’t afford anything better. They skip from campground to campground to avoid rent, and take part-time jobs with companies who offer seasonal work just to make gas money and sustenance. Would you believe that one of the largest employers of part time nomads is Amazon? Yes Amazon, actually recruits workers through their branch called Amazon CamperForce. The stories Bruder relates to working at Amazon Fulfilment Centers are crazy. Can you imagine sixty somethings logging 12-15 miles walking daily inside one of these big box warehouses scanning goods to either put away or to remove for shipping for ten to twelve hours a day?  I can’t either, but it is happening right now in a place near you. The people doing it don’t really like it but it allows them to make money to live their lifestyle. Many of them refer to Amazon as the largest slave keeper in the world.

I enjoyed reading these stories and following the campers as they moved from city to city to attend events like the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in the desert near Quartzsite, Arizona. I remember passing through Quartzsite on Inter-state ten on my way to California. It looked like a giant flea market from the road I never wandered off to see if there actually was a city there too, next time I will for sure.

If you are into reading books about our American culture and how people cope with life this is a great read. I give it five stars.

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Excellent advice to avoid Flagstaff on your way to warmer climates during winter months.nter a caption

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Is This What Kaepernick Is Seeking?

Colin Kaepernick has a twisted idea of justice and he chooses to kneel instead of stand while the National Anthem plays at NFL football games. Does he want people apprehended by police to get the same treatment as does Hillary? Does he want the guilty to be exonerated, and set free before given a trial before a jury of his peers?  Colin says he wants equal treatment for black men stopped by police and then killed by police on the street. When the cop faces trial for shooting the man on the street he gets off. Kaepernick makes no mention of any facts that may have indicated that the officer who got off was totally in the right to shoot. How often is a police officer accused of murdering a subject?Better yet, how often does a cop get away with murdering his subject? My guess is that the number is lower than the number that die in mass shootings.

Now take a look at the list below and ask yourself if this is white privilege. Is this justice?

How could Hillary Clinton possibly have lost the election?

Was it the Russians?

Wikileaks?

Podesta ?

Comey’s investigation ?

her sexual predator/rapist husband ?

a staff member’s husband, Wiener’s, immoral pictures and sexting to adolescent girls ?

the subpoena violation ?

the corrupt offshore Clinton Foundation, whose foreign government donors remained anonymous under Canadian law ? the congressional lies ?

the Bengazi bungle and lies to the victims’ families ?

pay for play graft scheme through the Foundation?

re-directing funds from the Foundation for Haitian victims to political cronies that ended up in federal prison ?

Travelgate scandal ?

Whitewater scandal ?

Cattlegate scandal ?

Troopergate scandal ?

How about the more-than-fifty coincidental murders/suicides of Clinton “associates” that have never been thoroughly investigated?

Or was it the $15 million for Chelsea’s apartment purchased with Foundation money ?

Perhaps paying Chelsea a million dollars a year to do exactly what for the Foundation?

Or her husband’s interference with Loretta Lynch and the investigation ?

Was it stealing debate questions ?

Was it forensically deleting 33,000 emails in violation of USC Section 8, rendering her ineligible to run for federal office?

Was it the Seth Rich murder ?

Could it have been approving the sale of 20 percent of U.S. strategic uranium resources to Russia in exchange for exorbitant speech fees to her husband and gargantuan donations from Russian businessmen to the Foundation?

Was it calling half the USA deplorable ?

Was it the underhanded treatment and cheating of Bernie Sanders out of the Dem nomination ?

Was it the Vince Foster murder ?

The Jennifer Flowers assault ?

The Jennifer Flowers settlement ?

The Paula Jones lawsuit ?

The $800,000 Paula Jones settlement ?

The lie about taking on sniper fire in the Balkans?

The impeachment of her husband?

The 6 billion dollars she “lost” when in charge of the State Department ?

The 10 million she took for the pardon of Marc Rich ?

Gee, I just can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems to be right in front of me somewhere.

B17’s, P51’s, and B29’s

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How does it feel to be the very last pilot to fight an air battle in a great war? The Last Fighter Pilot told me exactly what is was like since this book is about his experience as a pilot flying out of Iwo Jima during the war against Japan. Until this book all I knew about Iwo Jima was that it took several thousand Marine lives to chase the Japanese off the island and when they raised to American flag one photographer got lucky and took a picture that has memorialized the place. Other than that I was never aware that Iwo Jima the island became a vital stepping stone in the defeat of the Japanese in WWII.

I became aware of this book while watching an interview with Captain Jerry Yellin on TV. My God I thought the guy is ninety-three, he still fits in his Army Air Corp uniform and he is a sharp as a tack, I want to hear his story. I ordered his book through my library, and waited three months for it to arrive, there were twenty-four holds on it before me. I picked up the book on Saturday afternoon, and finished reading it on Monday evening. I love war stories, with airplanes, and this was a great one.

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What Is Justice?

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

After watching about nine minutes of Kaepernick’s interview I have some questions of my own.
What is his definition of justice? Does it mean an eye for an eye, or does it mean you are entitled to a trial by a jury of your peers. A few of his points may have some validity like cops assuming all blacks are evil, and are guilty until proven innocent. He cites an example of an experience he had where he and some team mates were moving into a house in an all white neighborhood, and the cops showed up, entered the house unannounced, and began to ask questions. Again, I have a question for Kaepernick. Isn’t the crime rate for young black men higher than any other age or race group? If I were a cop I’d be very careful of how I approached a black guy during a call. My step son was a cop, and he had an experience where he caught a guy leaving the scene of a robbery.(It was in the middle of the night, all businesses were closed and this guy was coming out of a window). He apprehended the guy, but the perp resisted. They wound up in a wrestling match. The man he caught happened to be black. In his futile attempt to escape the perp bit my son on the forearm. Son lost the use of his arm for several weeks due to nerve damage. After the whole thing went down the perp filed a lawsuit against my son citing a violation of his civil rights.
If Colin wants to do some good for his people, and this country he should use his notoriety to teach young, and old men of color not to do stupid things when a gun is pointed at them, or when a cop is shouting stop.

Kaepernick sees only through his black eyes, and does not see what is happening with his white eyes. How can he know that blacks are oppressed when he has not seen the white side of things? He can only assume that the whites are being treated with more justice than the blacks. His idea of justice is warped too. Just means all people are treated fairly. Our system uses a well f=defined set of laws to define how people are to be judged. Our police are trained in methods of restraint, capture, and self-defense. On the self defense side when someone is threatening you, you have but nano seconds to decide how you will react. Often your training will summon you to shoot first and ask questions later. Otherwise your widow may be the one seeking justice, which is usually a sentence to jail.

Kaepernick should be very careful about his scheme to fight for the oppressed it may well backfire on him.

Affirmative Action President

I’m watching Tucker Carlson debate with some yokel about the deal Hillary made with the Russians to sell them 20% of U.S. uranium reserves, and a vision of my cartoon from March 7, 2010 came to mind. At the time I drew this funny I was being facetious, sarcastic, and sardonic in my attack of Obama; the only way I knew how to fight him. His spending was out of control for the entire eight years he spent golfing for a living. Little did I know then that our government would actually follow a scenario similar to that in the cartoon.

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Granted that in my scenario Obama tells Hillary to sell nuclear bombs, but selling pure refined bomb-grade uranium is pretty much the same thing. A country trying to develop nuclear weapons would be light years ahead if they didn’t have to first reduce tons of ore to get a few ounces of uranium. It would be similar to the soda jerk who creates a special sundae without having to milk the cow to make the ice cream first.

Why or how Obama and his cabinet escaped prosecution, or impeachment is a mystery. The only theory I have to offer is that Obama was an Affirmative Action president, thus he was protected from any negative comment. Another theory is that the Republicans in Congress have cojones the size of the period at the end of this sentence, and were really Republicans in name only (RINO), and they were too afraid to make waves for fear of being castrated by the press for appearing to be racist.

Heroes Of Today

This post was sent by a friend also. This post is the sequel to my previous post Heroes of the Past vs Heroes of Today

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My name is Dante Stallworth. I was high, drunk, and speeding when I hit and killed a pedestrian. I served 24 days in a county jail, and went on to play for four more NFL teams. As If that weren’t enough, President Obama invited me to the White House.

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Hi! I’m Darrell Russell, and along with two other companions, videotaped myself as I brutally attacked and raped a woman from Pennsylvania. This attack took place over the course of five hours, after the victim had been slipped a date rape drug. After police seized the video I was arrested.
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NFL arrest record by team since 2000
Team # of Arrests Since 2000
Minnesota Vikings 42
Cincinnati Bengals 40
Denver Broncos 36
Tennessee Titans 33
Miami Dolphins 28
Kansas City Chiefs 28
Jacksonville Jaguars 27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
Cleveland Browns 26
San Diego Chargers 25
Indianapolis Colts 24
Chicago Bears 23
Seattle Seahawks 20
New Orleans Saints 20
Washington Redskins 18
Oakland Raiders 18
Baltimore Ravens 18
Carolina Panthers 18
Green Bay Packers 17
Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Atlanta Falcons 16
San Francisco 49ers 16
Detroit Lions 15
New England Patriots 15
Buffalo Bills 14
Dallas Cowboys 13
New York Giants 13
Arizona Cardinals 12
New York Jets 11
Philadelphia Eagles 10
Houston Texans 9
St Louis Rams 8
Total 656

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Which heroes will you stand by, those from my last post or these shown above?

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And yes, I am a racist for posting only black NFL players pictures.  When 75% of the players are black, it is harder to find pictures of white guys.

 

 

Heroes Of the Past Vs Heroes of Today

A friend sent this story. I have read it many times before, and love it. Told by a man who was a son of one of the marines who planted the flag on Iwo Jima in WWII.

This is why I stand and hold my hand over my heart

Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC , with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall’s trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history — that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’

I told him that we were from Wisconsin . ‘Hey, I’m a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.’ (It was James Bradley who just happened to be in Washington , DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington , DC , but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)

When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night.)

‘My name is James Bradley and I’m from Antigo, Wisconsin My dad is on that statue, and I wrote a book called ‘Flags of Our Fathers’. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.

‘Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team.. They were off to play another type of game. A game called ‘War.’ But it didn’t turn out to be a game Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don’t say that to gross you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in
Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old – and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) ‘You see this next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph…a photograph of his girlfriend Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima . Boys. Not old men.

‘The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the ‘old man’ because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would
motivate his boys in training camp, he didn’t say, ‘Let’s go kill some Japanese’ or ‘Let’s die for our country’ He knew he was talking to little boys.. Instead he would say, ‘You do what I say, and I’ll get you home to your mothers.’

‘The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona . Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo Jima . He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, ‘You’re a hero’ He told reporters, ‘How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?’

So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was taken.

‘The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky . A fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, ‘Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.’ Yes, he was a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother’s farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.


‘The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin , where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite’s producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say ‘No, I’m sorry, sir, my dad’s not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is coming back.’ My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell ‘s soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn’t want to talk to the press.

‘You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, ’cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a combat caregiver. On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima , they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain.

‘When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, ‘I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.’

‘So that’s the story about six nice young boys.. Three died on Iwo Jima , and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.’

Suddenly, the monument wasn’t just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.
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for heroes of today. . . see the next post
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