There have only been two occasions in my life where I have asked the blunt and stark questions about bravery and what mustered people to it. Both of them were World War Ii vets, one was my ex-uncle-in-law Orville, the other Bob Blagden, who I recently interviewed for a story about Landing Craft (yet to be aired). Most of the time I hear these stories, I am too wrapped up in the vista of the tale to ask challenging and serious questions about what goes on in a man’s head when faced with truly death defying odds. However on these two occasions I did.
Orv was a half track driver on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Bob was second in command on an LCT (Landing Craft Tank). his amphibious craft would bring tanks, jeeps, half tracks and their drivers to shore during the invasion. Orv never really trained to be on the beach that day, he just got moved around from Radio operator, to dispatch, to driver then to half track, kind of taking life wherever it led him. Never really trained for any of it other than basic training and how to run a radio. Bob also was never intended to command that ship, but his skipper missed the shove off orders because he was out to dinner with some girls. He literally was yelling at the crew from the dock as they were underway. So Bob was “faking it”, so to speak.
For both of them they started the day (about 6:30 am) with a lump of 100% pure fear lodged in their throats, and by the end of the day they had no idea what had happened to them or how they got to where they were, but the limp was gone, and they were credited with extreme bravery, and justly awarded such. yet each of them only had fragmented flashes of memory of a most ghastly nature, details of which I will not burden you with here, and spent the rest of the day in a surreal fog in which they seemed detached and helpless to do anything other than what they were told.
The point of this story is not about their trials, but rather that sense they both described of watching something terrible happening to them and their buddies, and feeling overwhelmed when the fog cleared.
That is a feeling that I have had in the last couple of weeks. I see a terrible thing happening around us, but I am numb and somewhat oblivious to what all the implications are that surround the events. I almost can’t believe it is happening, and feel unable to change the outcome that I see on the tops of the distant cliffs. I see an orchestrated battle being waged against America, my logical self says that it can’t be real, but the short fragments of reality that sink in and the implications that attend them scare me into a helpless fog. The aggressor, is our own leadership in the current administration, and I set here some of the incidents that may well end the America I grew up believing in.
Point 1. started with a statement made by the president at the launch of his first term that he was appointing a regulation czar to find ways to go around congress to get things done that the administration wanted to do. It followed with the obvious buy out of votes to get the Affordable health care act passed. A hospital in Nebraska, some favor in Louisiana and a statement by the then speaker of the house that you will have to pass the bill to see what is in it. It was almost a demonic statement. (This was the point where I started to feel that surreal detachment of hopelessness, because no one in the press was actually listening to what they were saying. Why that statement didn’t make headlines across the nation, I will never know. I realized that the free press had been bought. I still think they are.
More recently, the roll out of the ACA. (affordable health care act) has left me scratching my head. With so many documented abnormalities from the links to the Whitehouse with the contractors, their obvious lack of expertise and the outcome that was known and discussed in the administration months before it happened. tells me they wanted it to be a mess.
Doomsayers the likes of Glenn Beck have said for some time that it would fail by intention and would give the government no choice but to nationalize it. I thought that was ridiculous. Well today I had a conversation with an executive at Regence Blue Cross who told me that they withdrew from the state run small business Exchange this year because they saw no way that they could absorb the risk with the increase of required coverage and what was shaping up to be poor participation by young people. They felt it was a sure ticket to bankruptcy. Couple that with the statement that I heard come straight from Joe Biden’s mouth to a labor group to hold tight, that the administration was only part way to their goal of a single payer system. Sounds like a planned takeover to me.
Number 4, The IRS profiling and acting against groups because they were of a different ideology that the administration (code word conservative). No real denial, about it and no corrective action. The administration hasn’t even feigned indignation.
Last Week James Clapper said that threats to our national security is highest than it has been since 9/11. This week Chuck Hagel says the military is cutting back to pre world war II levels at the very same moment in history that N. Korea becomes more unstable, Iran continues their cat and mouse with nuclear, and sustains a regime in Syria. Russia is sabre rattling over the Ukraine and Venezuela is destabilizing, exhibiting the same pattern that spread at the height of the cold war in 1960.
Add to it, the FCC trying to insert itself into the editorial board room of Americas mass media to examine if news decisions are fair (can anyone say censorship) and you can see how I feel like two vets who wondered how they ended up on the far side of a bloody beach defending freedom 70 years ago. A freedom that we are putting at jeopardy from within as well as from without today.
I hope someone else is seeing this too. 2014 is here and some days I feel that if we don’t halt all of this in its tracks that we are going to be cast off down a river without the means to navigate it. If not consumed by the river, we will at very least become prisoners to it.
go to your caucus meetings and demand that things change.