Saturday, May 2, 2015

Baby Boomer: ‘I’m not going gently into that good night’

Good Day World!

I’m here to tell you that baby boomers are not going gently into the good night (line from Dylan Thomas poem)  just because we’re in our sixties.

Have you heard the phrase “Sixty is the new forty” yet?

Why is it that when people reach a certain age, they're considered "over the hill?”

That's not so, according to new research, which is helping re-define how we look at aging.

Increasingly, people over 60 feel more like 40, and now they have the science to back them up.

"Your chronologic age - that is, the number of birthdays you have - isn't your biologic or what we call real age," said Dr. Michael Roizen, chief medical wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic.

The new research argues that since life expectancy continues to rise, age 60 should not be considered old.

It's more "middle age," because for many, there's a lot of living left to do after age 60, even embarking on second or third careers.

One example in fashion trends:

While many people try to hide their gray hair, spending hours eradicating the signs of advancing age, going gray may no longer mean reaching out for the dye bottle as "granny hair" is in vogue.

How about that? If the younger members of our society really want to be “cool” then they have to copy baby boomers – in action and fashion!

You know…growing old is really a matter of the mind. Not the body.

As Dylan so succinctly put it, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, May 1, 2015

Presidential Hopeful Bernie Sanders draws ‘line in the sand’ between him and Clinton

                                           Good Day World!

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to be the next president of the United States.

On Thursday he declared "we're in this race to win" and highlighted key areas he'll seek to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.

If you’re like me, you don’t know a lot about this feisty politician.

Here’s Sander’s voting record.

Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.

Sanders runs for office as an independent but caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments.

He was the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history. Since January 2015, Sanders has been the Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Budget Committee.

Sanders is a vocal advocate about the ramifications of global warming.

In a speech on the Senate floor on July 26, 2012, Sanders addressed claims made by fellow Senator Jim Inhofe: "The bottom line is when Senator Inhofe says global warming is a hoax, he is just dead wrong, according to the vast majority of climate scientists.”

Sanders supports the DISCLOSE Act, which would make campaign finances more transparent and ban U.S. corporations controlled by foreign interests from making political expenditures.

Sanders has been a leader in calling for media reform and opposes increased concentration of ownership of media outlets, as well as being a contributing author for OpEdNews.

He appeared in Orwell Rolls in His Grave and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, two documentaries on the subject.

The only question now; “Is Bernie Sanders too far to the Left to attract a majority of voters?”

MORE On SANDERS

The Bernie Sanders record: A progressive social media star and pragmatic legislator

An unconventional campaign launch for an unconventional candidate: Sanders 2016

Bernie Sanders: Obama sounds like Bush and Clinton on trade

Bernie Sanders through the years

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Veteran’s Picks for Music About the Vietnam War

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Good Day World!

As my regular readers know, I’m a Vietnam/Cambodian veteran (1970). Lately, I’ve been looking to music to portray parts of my life experiences.

I’ve selected the following 15 Vietnam-related songs to share my story as a Vietnam veteran. It wasn’t easy keeping the list to just 15.

I could have done more, but the ones I selected should do the job. I hope you enjoy them.

Here’s my story put to words,music, and videos.

Country Joe & the Fish – Vietnam Song asks the question, “what are we fighting for?”

Canned HeatGoing Up the Country live Woodstock 1969 I’m going to leave the city… and get far away!” This song was tied into the hippie movement, but was also an anthem for Vietnam veterans. Don’t watch/listen to this video if you’re offended by nudity. This video has uncensored pics from Woodstock.

The Rolling Stones - Paint it Black this video/song has special meaning to me.

This song was blaring on a boom box as I rode in a Huey on my way to Cambodia.

I was part of an operation that resulted in angering many Americans who thought the war was being extended into Cambodia. It wasn’t a declaration of war on Cambodia – we were just chasing the NVA across the border where they had set up headquarters.

 

The Doors - Unknown Soldier video shows Vietnam clips from 1968. The Doors are one of my favorite groups. “Make a grave for the unknown soldier…”

 

Creedance Clearwater Revival - Run Through The Jungle – video shows clips from Casper Aviation Platoon that served in the 173d Airborne Brigade during the Vietnam War from 1965 –1971.

Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth - video shows the band (circa 1967), and clips from the Sunset Strip Teen Riots in November of 1966.

Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction – “Your old enough to kill, but not voting…” This video has some great photos representing the times.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate SonThis is a well known Vietnam war protest song . Pictures in the video are Iraq/Vietnam war and protest pictures.

Kingston Trio - Where Have All the Flowers Gone?When will they ever learn? Where have all the young men gone? They’re gone as soldiers…” Another really strong anti-war song that makes me nostalgic.

Black Sabbath – War Pigs I was lucky and got to see Black Sabbath in concert at the Great Western forum in 1971 – shortly after getting out of the Army. They played this tune then. Also, Grand Funk Railroad rocked my night! What memories!

Mark Maysey - This is My RifleI love this one. Sure reminds me of boot camp at Ft. Ord, California where I repeated that chant in as loud a voice as I could muster: “This is my rifle – this one is my gun – one is for killing –the other for fun.” 

Edwin Starr – WARthis 1970 Motown Time Capsule video shows clips from the times. “Soul Brothers” constituted more than half of the fighting forces in Vietnam.

John Schumann, Redgum - I WAS ONLY 19 - This song really spoke to me, I was 19 when I fought in Vietnam and Cambodia. The video portrays the Australian young men who fought in Vietnam along side of us. It also mentions Agent Orange, and talks about PTSD.

Mitch Townly – The Wallthis video tribute is for all my brothers who died in that nasty Vietnam War. Sometimes I remember my squad like yesterday…

Jason Billington – The Eagle Cried - Written and recorded by US Army Major J Billington. This song was written in honor of the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans, who did not receive the hero's welcome that they deserved when they came home from the fight. It was performed at the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion Reunion at Fort Rucker, Alabama, held on May 15, 2010.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NRA Members Aren’t Always Aware That Their Cash Contributions Support Politicians

Good Day World!

The law makes a hard distinction between solicitations for elections and other solicitations, in part because many Americans don’t like donating to politicians.

An NRA member might contribute to the organization because he admires its work on behalf of hunters. He might also contribute to an environmental group because he wants to preserve forests.

But this same donor may vehemently oppose the candidates endorsed in federal elections by both the NRA and the environmental group. As a result, the law makes it clear that when these groups are soliciting for electoral purposes they must disclose that fact to potential donors.

The NRA has been ignoring that law for years by taking donations that were intended to support the group and using them for political agendas.

Federal law also says a PAC’s solicitation must “expressly state that the contribution will be used in connection with a Federal election” and that contributions are purely voluntary.

And it requires a soliciting PAC to collect information about donors, including profession or job affiliation. But the NRA impudently ignores those requirements.

NRA solicitations through its corporate and PVF websites have arguably violated all  state statutes. And because of the way the NRA has structured its PAC, any state attorney general with an interest in investigating these apparent violations would have authority to subpoena all relevant NRA records dealing with its nationwide fundraising operations.

That however seems unlikely, because few politicians have the balls to go after the most powerful special interest group in the country.

The complete story, reinforced with factual records, is told in this investigative Yahoo news story:

The NRA’s brazen shell game with donations by Alan Berlow for Yahoo News

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Observations on a World Gone Crazy

Protests turn violent in wake of Freddie Gray death

Good Day World!

Growing up in the 1950’s, I never heard of multiple gangs organizing to “hunt and kill” cops. Not to say there were no gangs back in those days. There were. Most notably, The Mafia.

But none of them went out of their way to target cops across the country. Perhaps they had more sense than today’s gangs.

While Baltimore burns, and looters overrun businesses in protest of the killing of an unarmed black man – Freddie Gray – the notorious Black Guerilla Family, Bloods, and Crips formed a partnership to "take out" law enforcement officers.

Welcome to a world gone crazy.

Shootings at schools have become all too commonplace in the 21st century. Stories of children murdered in classrooms and cafeterias across the country have become too common.

In some cases brave teachers stop armed students before they can kill someone. But school doesn’t seem like a safe place anymore.

Mass killers step into movie theaters with semi-automatic weapons, slaughtering audiences; a teenager and his brother plant bombs, causing death and mayhem, during the Boston Marathon; and U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly concerned that the Islamic State is growing in popularity in America.

Just three examples of how crazy the world is now.

Other things I never thought I’d see, climb out of social media, and the TV:

Teen murders 9 year-old during sleep over.

ISIS Wannabes: Inside the Minds of Jihadis Born in the USA.

It seems like the world is getting more violent, and crazy every year. As an observer for over six-decades, I have to say things aren’t getting better. We seem further away from world peace than ever.

America is sliding back into an era of racial unrest, and our politicians are so polarized they can’t agree if the sky is blue or green. No matter what advancements we’ve made in technology, our society is still coming apart at the seams.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

 

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

No Compromise Politics in Congress is Screwing Americans

Good Day World!

I think it’s safe to say that most Americans are tired of a Congress that barely functions because of bipartisan polarization.

For example, remember Grover Norquist? He’s the clown that came up with The Pledge, which dates back to 1986.

Republicans looking for anti-tax support of any kind have slavishly signed The Pledge for years, promising to NEVER raise taxes.

This senseless affirmation of NO COMPROMISE when it comes to taxes was most recently signed by Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

The only other Republican candidate in the race, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, has not yet signed the pledge. He did sign it when he was running for the senate in 2009.

Still undeclared presidential candidate Jeb Bush's spokesperson, Kristy Campbell, told ABC News in February, "If Governor Bush decides to move forward, he will not sign any pledges circulated by lobbying groups."

I have to extend kudos to Jeb for that move. While many Republicans sign it at both the state and federal level, Bush didn't sign it as governor of Florida either.

His father, George H.W. Bush, raised taxes after pledging during his campaign that he wouldn't. No surprise, he lost his re-election to Bill Clinton.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has also never signed it, but Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist's organization, says that Christie gave and kept a verbal commitment to follow it.

Governors Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry have all signed and kept the pledge, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

It’s obvious, to anyone with common sense, that when a politician says their not going to compromise on some issues, it’s going to cause problems for everyone involved down the line.

A good politician understands the importance of a fair compromise in order to get things done. Look at our congressional history and you’ll see how compromise created important laws that benefited all Americans.

It can be done. But, not by signing pledges that destroy any chance of negotiating.

It’s time for me to walk on down the road…     

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To My Surprise, My Father Once Worked For Lockheed’s Secretive Skunk Works

Good Day World!

I had an interesting conversation with my father recently, and discovered that he worked for the highly secret Skunk Works at Lockheed from 1953-56.

I knew he was a Journeyman Machinist who worked for Lockheed, Northrop Grumman (parts for the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger – photo left), and General Dynamics (where he retired).

It turns out that he worked on a lot of highly classified parts for all three of the companies that he worked for. For some reason, I was never quit aware that he did such specialty work.

(Editor’s Note:  The term Skunk Works became official in 1955. Up until then Lockheed called the research team’s department “Advanced Development Projects.”) 

He was a journeyman machinist. His job involved creating master dies for various parts of experimental aircraft.

A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press.

Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. Products made with dies range from simple paper clips to complex pieces used in advanced technology.

In 1955, the Skunk Works received a contract from the CIA to build a spy plane known as the U-2 with the intention of flying over the Soviet Union and photographing sites of strategic interest.

In the conversation with my father, he indicated that he created dies for several parts on the U-2 Spy Plane.

During the entirety of the Cold War, the Skunk Works was located in Burbank, California on the eastern side of Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport(34.200768°N 118.351826°W)

BRIEF ORIGIN

In 1943, the U.S. Army’s Air Tactical Service Command (ATSC) met with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to express its dire need for a jet fighter to counter a rapidly growing German jet threat.

One month later, a young engineer by the name of Clarence "Kelly" L. Johnson and his team of young engineers hand delivered the XP-80 Shooting Star jet fighter proposal to the ATSC.

Quickly the go-ahead was given for Lockheed to start development on the United States' first jet fighter effort.

It was June of 1943 and this project marked the birth of what would become the Skunk Works® with Kelly Johnson at its helm.

The formal contract for the XP-80 did not arrive at Lockheed until October 16, 1943; four months after work had already begun. Kelly Johnson and his team designed and built the XP-80 in only 143 days, seven less than was required.

What allowed Kelly to operate the Skunk Works so effectively and efficiently was his unconventional organizational approach. He broke the rules, challenging the current bureaucratic system that stifled innovation and hindered progress.

His philosophy is spelled out in his "14 rules and practices."

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hangover Cures From Cabbage To Coca Cola

Good Day World!

The need to be able to treat hangovers is steeped in history.

From cabbage to fried canary and milky Coca Cola, potion-mixers, scientists, and bartenders have long attempted to stave off the dread-ache of the hangover.

Today let’s look at how the ancient’s addressed the problem, and then the more modern cures for hangovers.

Ancient Cures

Cabbage seemed to be the biggest remedy during ancient times—it’s been documented in texts on classical Greeks and Romans as well ancient Egyptians.

Five hundred thousand papyrus texts from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, dating back to the second century AD (1,900 years ago) were dug up by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt from 1896 to 1907, and experts have been translating their contents ever since.

Just recently, one of the medical texts was found to contain a “drunken headache cure,” now more popularly known as a hangover cure. Are you ready for this ancient knowledge?

The text suggests that sufferers “wear leaves of Alexandrian chamaedaphne strung together.”

Alexandrian chamaedaphne is a shrub available online and more commonly known as “poet’s laurel,” should you want to actually give this a try.

By the late 1600s, chemists and herbalists had begun to concoct their own scientific mixtures for curing the hangover.

English physician Jonathan Goddard created his eponymous remedy Goddard’s Drops, which contained ingredients like ammonia, the skull of a person hanged, and dried viper.

The quickest way to cure a hangover—well, someone who had passed out from too much drinking—in the 19th century was shock therapy, according to The Medical Advisor, a semi-professional/semi-ridiculous health journal.

It suggested pouring vinegar down the victim’s throat and then rubbing it on their temples.

If that didn’t work, strip them naked and throw a bucket of cold water on them!

Modern Cures

The first aspirin tablets were made in 1915. Alka-Seltzer was introduced in 1931.

The Bloody Mary—a go-to tomato-based vodka drink perfect for the morning after—was introduced in 1934, mixing both the “hair of the dog” and plenty of anti-oxidants to rid you of your blues.

Adhesive patches like Bytox, which are applied before you drink, promise to flood your body with a slew of multi-vitamins and green tea extract, beginning with your first sip of booze.

Canned drinks like Mercy contain up 5,000 percent of the daily value of certain vitamins. They can be ingested sporadically or used as a mixer throughout the night (though a can of Sprite seems to be the latest trick).

New York’s I.V. Doc will make house calls, administering bags of liquid vitamins, glutathione and amino acids straight to your veins soon after waking up. In an hour you’re back in action.

There’s literally hundreds of more supposed cures. I don’t have the space for all of them here, but I’ve got some good links for you:

10 Hangover Remedies: What Works?

11 Ways To Ease A Nasty Hangover

Everything Science Knows About Hangovers—And How to Cure Them

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

I May Be in An Alternate Universe – Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Good Day World!

Here’s three current news articles that make me suspect I’m in an alternate universe. Things in this universe are really wacked! Read on...

One:

The May 2 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is expected to be the richest fight in the history of boxing.Ticket sales at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas are expected to hit $74 million, three times the gate record. Pay-per-view revenues from both HBO and Showtime are expected to be around $300 million.

Both fighters are guaranteed a minimum of $50 million, with a chance at making triple that if they win the fight.

Is it just me, or is that crazy? In a matter of minutes, two men are making mega millions. Can you name any other profession in America that pays more in such a short period of time?

A reflection of our values?

Two:

Chinese scientists have caused an uproar by trying to permanently edit the DNA of human embryos — created genetic changes that could be passed along from generation to generation.

Their attempt didn't work very well, but the report, published in a small, online journal called Protein & Cell, has worried experts who have been watching out for such experiments.

It raises the specter of eugenics — making designer babies, or trying to "improve" the human race.

"Human germline modification is widely considered unethical for both safety and social reasons," the Center for Genetics and Society said in a statement.

"Using germline modification techniques to create a human being is prohibited by more than 40 countries and several international human rights treaties."

The question now is, how far did those experiments go? And, are they ongoing?

Three:

This last article finally convinced me this must be an alternate universe!

Even the world of cybercrime is getting hit by falling prices and cheaper labor!

You can now anonymously hire a cybercriminal online for as little as $6 to $10 per hour, says Rodney Joffe, senior vice president at Neustar, a cybersecurity company.

Excuse me, but where are the authorities?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Koch Heads Seek Money From Their Masters

                                 Good Day World!

With over a year and a half to go until the presidential elections, Koch Heads are cozying up to their would-be masters.

With hopes of buying the presidency via Charles and David Koch, GOP presidential hopefuls are lining up for an audience with the mega billionaire would-be king-makers.

It appears Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has the inside track with the Koch boys. On Monday, the NYT reported that the Koch Brothers had settled on their preferred 2016 candidate - Scott Walker. 

The Koch’s, with unlimited amounts of money to spend, are still covering all the bases and are supporting other worshippers like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul – to name a few.

Kinda like a horse race where you bet on an Exacta or Trifecta.

So what is expected from candidates, like Walker, in return for the support from the Koch boys?

Check out this quote from Charles Koch: "We're telling [GOP candidates] that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America."

What policies are those?

In 1980, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential cDavid Kochandidate in 1980.

Here’s just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980.

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process.

Perhaps, the biggest winners of Citizens United are Charles and David Koch, owners of the second-largest privately run business in America Koch Industries.

For the Koch brothers, $80 billion in wealth, apparently, is not good enough.

Owning the second largest private company in America is, apparently, not good enough.

It doesn’t appear that they will be satisfied until they are able to control the entire political process.

Despite being elitists (or perhaps because they are) GOP presidential hopefuls continue to flock to the Koch brother’s door with visions of millions of dollars dancing in their heads…and a presidency.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dear Human: A Letter From Your Dog

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Editor’s Note: It’s great to be back from my week hiatus. Here’s a wonderful article I ran across recently:

My Dear Human,

I apparently need to keep you on a short leash, because you regularly forget why you are on this earth to begin with.

You have one very simple job to do - feed me and pay attention to me when I am not asleep. I fail to understand why you allow anything with a keyboard or a remote to take your attention away from your only job, which is me.

Technology has made you its slave and I prefer it when you are my slave. Freud would say that I have technology-envy, but he can't really say anything because he's dead.

While I'm venting, I am concerned about your obsession with hoarding my excrement.

When we go outside, you always lunge for it with your little blue baggie so you can get it before anyone else does and then you just throw it away. Can you explain that to me? Never mind. You're an odd duck, but I like you most of the time. Especially when you hand out the food.

But I feel compelled to ask who you really think is taking care of whom in this house?

You, with the opposable thumbs, fetch and dole out the food but who is guarding the food from the mice and burglars? Who has the sharp canine teeth?

And which one of us is on guard duty day and night because we don't cotton to spending hours in front of the TV or the computer or yapping on the phone? Just throwing it out there for you to ponder.

As for the furniture, you like to sleep on the bed, same as me. Somewhat confusing to me is why you think I should sleep on the floor. You are a nice person, but you don't think things through very well. Just sayin'. By the way, I like the bed, especially when you're not at home. Nanananabooboo.

Now, can we talk about the cat for a moment?

Such a kiss-ass. All that rubbing up against your legs when you come home as if he has done a damned thing since you left hours earlier. Let me enlighten you: He slept. He yawned. He stretched. I was on duty protecting the fat lazy cat and all of the food in the kitchen while you were gone. I was not sleeping. Except maybe on your bed for just a little bit.

Lastly, I would like to request that you not call me Sugar Pie or Honey Bun in front of that white poodle who lives down the street. Please. Stop. It. You're killing me.

Aside from not wanting to have my manhood impugned in front of the lady dogs, I may also need plausible deniability that you and I are acquainted. Just help me out, pal. No offense.

Is it dinner yet? Can I have some food? I want some food. Now. Please. Hello? Step away from the computer and no one will get hurt. Not even the lazy cat. I promise. Chop chop.

Follow Janet Eve Josselyn – the author of this article- on Twitter: www.twitter.com/janetjosselyn1

Time for me to walk on down the road…

How The Crazies Found Their Voice in America

I miss the good old days when the crazies in our society wore tinfoil hats and communicated with aliens from another galaxy. Whenever they ...