Last week we paid our respects to veterans of our armed forces. For one of several days, the country becomes aware of our armed forces…but for the rest of the year, if VA facilities are any yardstick, we treat them like crap. That makes me mad and, before you ask, yes, I would do something about it.
My plan is very simple…the top five people in every VA facility around the country would be asked to resign. If they resign, they get no benefits. If they refuse to resign, they will face a trial and they will NOT be on paid administrative leave. If they are found guilty of the charges they face, they will be sent to prison.
Other things were going on last week, but if you watched the mainstream media you might have missed some of it. For starters, did you see that our president was not in the center of the group picture? It was Putin, of Russia, who had that spot and that indicated that China thinks that he has replaced our president as the more powerful of the two.
Speaking of China, some business people on TV have reported that their economy has toppled ours as the #1 in the world. That’s not good news, especially when it’s tied in with the thinking that some other currency, other than the US dollar, should be the “universal” currency. Economics is not my strong suit, but I can tell you that the stuff I buy at the supermarket seems to be inching up in price week by week.
Last week we learned the identity of the man who killed Usama bin Laden. Details, as much as was revealed, told us that the mission was considered very likely to be a one-way mission. With any person who dares to be different, possibly in a menacing way, they come to realize that because of what they’ve done they, and their family, have become targets.
Of course, anyone that puts on the uniform of the United States will be, at some point perhaps, a target for the enemy…and more and more that enemy will be unknown. Even the last Gulf War was able to be classified as a “standard” war where both sides wore uniforms and you knew the enemy. Americans, and other “westerners” now face an enemy that doesn’t wear a uniform and, in some cases, could look like anybody else. This new type of warfare is going to take a new type of response and, personally, I like the military adage “the best defense is a good offense”; and that saying goes back to Machiavelli and others.
What would be a good offense? Surely we cannot duplicate the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry, as we did in World War Two…can we? We can do surveillance on places we consider to be breeding grounds for radical insurgents, potential jihadists, can’t we? In most places, yes we could, but not in New York City apparently.
Back in August 2013, it was the policy of the NY Police Department to conduct surveillance on mosques since that seemed to be the logical places for jihadists to be radicalized. In April of this year the unit that was watching the mosques was dismantled and the surveillance was ended. Personally, I think that was a dumb move…but then, I think the Mayor of New York, Bill DeBlasio is an idiot. Like the president, he’s done enough dumb things that pages could be written about them, but he’s not going to change because of anything that’s said here.
Last week saw two more names placed on my Navy-buddy Taps list. One I knew personally, having been with him on two cruises, and the other I knew only through e-mails. Face-to-face or e-mails, it doesn’t make a difference, when they’re gone they’re gone and the loss is just as bad.
With that in mind, when my wife died, it struck me that there was a way now to keep a presence even though you’re gone. Technology being what it is, recordings into a computer can be preserved indefinitely, so I started to record stories and poems and just notes, like a journal but not on a daily basis. Perhaps it will come to pass that they (my children) will put down their phones, pads, tablets, etc. and sit still long enough to listen to me. Oh well, that might be a pie-in-the-sky wish.
Albert Einstein once said “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
Alas and alack.
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired, www.AirHumanityRadio.net