Sunday, 14 September 2014

This Coming Week

This coming week on Thursday, I will have walked out of Air Force boot camp thirty-seven years ago, as a "graduate".

It's not really something I think much about except around the 2nd of August of each...remembering the bus trip to Nashville, final papers signed, my first airline trip, and arriving at Lackland sometime around 10PM.

No one had ever said anything to me about the heat in south Texas, and I suspect if they had.....I would have delayed my enlistment until November.  August and September are miserable months to do basic training.

Air Force boot camp is a cake-walk....compared to the Marines or Army.  That was another part of the deal that I didn't realize until the very end.  Any idiot who simply does what they tell you to do......can easily make it.  There were no tough physical challenges.

The recruiter told me to bring roughly $50, and that would be enough to carry you through the first two weeks, and you'd get $100 at that point.  I think I had roughly $150 in my pocket, and doubt if I spent more than $30 of that for the whole six weeks.

Going back to Lackland?  To be honest, I never had any desire to do so.  I've met others who went back to see the old barracks, or the moldy-smelling BX, or the greasy-burger bowling alley (I went there twice in six weeks and consumed some of the most grease-intensified burgers that you could imagine).

On the morning of the last day....it was a moment that just gets etched into your mind.  You went down to the chow-hall for the last time for breakfast.  You ate as much as you wanted, with as much time as you desired, with no instructor around to jump on you.  Afterwards, I walked back and sat there in some amazement....it was over.  An hour later....I got on a bus with forty other guys and went to Sheppard AFB, Texas.

Our "Lost" Civilization

“It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate, civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”

-- Representative Nancy Pelosi (D, Cal)

Civilization in jeopardy?

Americans live in a remarkable period.  In any given election year (occurs every two years)....we are on the cutting edge of total collapse of our civilization.  Well....it sounds good when you say that way.

The guys who built the Nazca Lines in Peru?  They ended up being a lost civilization.  You'd like to believe some Nazca Republicans got into the mix....screwing up things for the liberal side of the Nazca folks.....but basically weather, stupid leadership from the head guy, and some bad crop years led to their downfall.

The Mayan civilization?  They kinda drifted away after the year 900.  Republicans at fault in Central America?  No....between bad weather and some violent tendencies.....crop yields went down, and folks just got discouraged and moved off.  Maybe if the EPA had been around and regulated everything, and if they had a decent Attorney General.....things would have gone differently.

The Easter Island civilization?  They kinda went into a tree-cutting frenzy and by 1200....had cut just about every tree on the island down.  Republicans at fault?  Well....if things had been regulated and trees replenished....things would have gone differently, and there'd still be stone statues put up today....maybe into the tens of thousands. Heck, they might even be selling them as quickly as they carved them up, but then some Democratic guys would stand up and claim they were sacred in some way and prevent their export.

The Cahokia civilization?  Well....they were a mighty tribe along the Mississippi river and were kings of the territory until the 1200s.   Republicans tearing them apart?  No.....mostly just a disease or two that entered the area, and with a drought.....made things kinda miserable.

The lost colony civilization at Roanoke Island, Virginia?  Republicans at fault?  Well....no.....the guys who left and promised to return....took a bit longer than expected, and I would imagine that folks got worried, and left.

Generally, it's hard to find any reasonable excuse to say that some society or culture failed to survive a Republican or Democrat-led disaster.

People that hear this type of chatter....usually just start laughing, or gulp down another sip of booze....thinking it's brand-x type political talk, and doesn't amount to much.

The sad thing here is that political folks are thrown in front of a microphone and expected to give some nifty forty-word statement to the press, and it gets thrown on the front-page of some newspaper.  You'd like to think that the political player would stand there and think about what to say, and then comment on something in a remarkable way....but it never happens like that.  So we get some lousy one-star marginal statement....that you just shake your head over, and flip the channel to some 1936 movie with Greta Garbo....trying to forget about American politics.

Oh, and in January, after the election, after the arrival of the Republicans in the Senate, and after we've lost our civilization....you might want to ask about the civilization business.  Maybe it just keeps on ticking.