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Archive for October 22nd, 2012

October 22, 2012

Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Really Good Quotes "A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Greetings, Quotaholics:

When most of you read this the date in the US will be Oct. 22.

So how the hell do I make a piece out of a date?  Well, it turns out that this date is extremely significant to people all over the world though they probably don’t realize it.  Fifty years ago, on Oct. 22, 1962, President Kennedy addressed the nation and the world.  Soviet missiles had been detected in Cuba, and he announced a blockade of the island in an effort just short of all out war to get them removed.

Known to future generations as the Cuban Missile Crisis, it had actually begun on Oct. 16 when JFK was first informed of their presence.  He said nothing publicly, and he used a lot of subterfuge to get cabinet officers and military officials into the White House without arousing press suspicions of a crisis afoot.

General Curtis LeMay wanted a full scale military assault, while others like Undersecretary of State George Ball urged restraint.  There were no good options, and the threat that this would escalate into WWIII was very real.

Perhaps the one thing that saved us from destruction was JFK’s keen intellect and knowledge of history.  Just a couple of months before this began, Barbara Tuchman released a book called The Guns of August, which has since been acknowledged as the definitive account of how WWI began.  JFK had just finished reading his copy when he was confronted with news of the missiles, and lessons from the book were vivid in his mind as he made decisions that could quite literally have affected the entire human race.

The one thing that stood out in his mind in the book was how Europe just tumbled into chaos, with leaders making one misstep after another until the only way out was war.  JFK was determined that if war were to break out it would not be because he made the same errors his predecessors across the Atlantic did.  War was a last resort and he intended to do everything in his power to avoid it.

On Oct. 17, a pre-planned meeting between JFK and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin took place at the White House, and he mentioned nothing about the missiles.  He wanted time to think and consider before tipping his hand.


After JFK’s speech the Soviets went on their highest state of military alert, yet offensive forces avoided assuming the highest readiness stage, as if to insure that Kennedy understood that the USSR would not launch first.

That in itself was a tiny bright spot, and he, along with British and NATO commanders decided against ordering a corresponding increase in NATO readiness levels, in order to reassure the Soviets that we did not plan an attack on them, either.  This is brinksmanship at the ultimate level, with a mistake sure to cost millions of lives.  Our own readiness at home was raised to DEFCON 3, but NATO forces in Europe were not.

With the Cuban Missile Crisis at its height, the Director of Naval Intelligence failed to inform the White House or Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara that new High-Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) data showed that many of the Soviet merchant ships bound for Cuba had already stopped dead in the water or had turned back for Russia.  Some within the US Government apparently wanted war, and they actually withheld this critical information from JFK for about 24 hours.

Crazy other things happened.  A Soviet satellite reached its parking orbit and suddenly exploded.  NORAD thought the USSR was launching a massive ICBM attack, but again cooler heads prevailed and thankfully nobody reacted.

At around midnight on October 25, a guard at the Duluth Sector Direction center saw a figure climbing the security fence.  He shot at it, and activated the "sabotage alarm." This automatically set off sabotage alarms at all bases in the area.  At Volk Field, Wisconsin, the alarm was wrongly wired, and the Klaxon sounded which ordered nuclear armed F-106A interceptors to take off. The pilots knew there would be no practice alert drills while DEFCON 3 was in force, and they believed World War III had started.

Immediate communication with Duluth showed there was an error.  By this time aircraft were starting down the runway.  A car raced from command center and successfully signaled the aircraft to stop.  The original intruder was a bear.

Another close call.

Another thing that JFK was absolutely adamant about is that he would not offer ultimatums other than that the missiles be removed.  He always allowed a place for Nikita Khrushchev to fall back to during negotiations without appearing weak to people in his own government.  He not only strategized as to the moves the US should take, but he worked out how the Soviets could gracefully back away as well.

I can’t write the entire history of those 13 days a half century ago in a column, but I have studied JFK and his administration in great detail and I firmly believe that it was his vision, knowledge of history, and cool, rational handling of the situation that ultimately resulted in the successful resolution of the most dangerous moment in American history.

The major media outlets have thus far been silent about remembering such critical events.  Perhaps in the next week they’ll do more than 30 seconds at the end of a national newscast to help people remember just how close we were to a nuclear holocaust, and how one man’s leadership made a difference that is impossible to fully appreciate.  We never learned what an all-out nuclear war would be like.

Gratefully,

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Today’s Quotes


God’s truth judges created things out of love, and Satan’s truth judges them out of envy and hatred. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you. - Daniel J. Boorstin

Today’s Chuckle


Lost Gas Cap
[Thanks dEE]

David filled his car with gas at a self-service gas station.

After he had paid and driven away, he realized that he had left the gas cap on top of his car. He stopped and looked and, sure enough, it was lost.

Well, he thought for a second and realized that other people must have done the same thing, and that it was worth going back to look by the side of the road since even if he couldn’t find his own gas cap, he might be able to find one that fit.

Sure enough, he hadn’t been searching long when he found a gas cap. He tried it on, and it went into place with a satisfying click.

“Great,” David thought, “I lost my gas cap, but I found another one that fits. And this one’s even better because it locks!”

Life Sentences


Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. But they’ve got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go. 

Civilization is unbearable, but it is less unbearable at the top. – all from Timothy Leary, American writer, born on this day in 1920

Image’n That!

Friends For Life



My Most Embarrassing Moment
My Scariest Moment


Speak Up!
Speak right up!

Cliff’s Notes


Birthdays

Often, I have wondered why it is we celebrate birthdays.  I’ve pondered that at least 61 times that I know of.  Probably more than that.

Think about it, why is the day of our birth a day of celebration? The process began at conception.  When our first cell with the proper DNA was formed by the joining of one egg and one sperm, it was all set into motion.  Scientists say the DNA is unique and defines us.  It is used as an identifier in many situations.  Why isn’t the day of conception used as the day of celebration?

You say we weren’t a "people" yet. OK, I’ll buy that. In some governments, when a heartbeat takes place, the fetus is a legal human being.  Others say when the fetus is viable to live outside the womb it is a human being, even if gestation isn’t complete.  Let’s go with that.  Why don’t we use that date to celebrate?

I am hearing it said that date is too arbitrary.  It’s more of a period than a date.  I’ll buy that.  So, next is the date of our birth, but we really don’t participate in that much.  Think about it though.  Isn’t it the day that the mother has the most active participation over anyone else? It should be called "Mother’s Day", but they wanted to celebrate all mothers on the same date, so that was set aside.  Except for the rude climate change and a surely traumatic relocation,  we are passive participants.

So, maybe we whould use the date that we finally become sentient. For a while after we are born, we do absolutely nothing.  One day we seem to recognize that Mom is our mother.  We begin to interact.  Soon thereafter, we begin to make noises that precipitate our language skills.  Cooing and smiling are the first recognizable indications that a child is aware of his or her surroundings and can recognize a parent or sibling.  But even that is too subtle.

I would say the date a baby says it’s first word is also too subjective. An accidental utterance of something similar to "mama" or "papa" is often mistaken as a word.  How many new parents are heard to say, "Did you hear that?  I think baby just said something,"?  I think they want to hear it so bad.

So we are to baby’s first steps. Would that be a significant enough day to celebrate? How many steps would it take to be official.  My uncle was a paraplegic and could take a couple steps from sheer momentum.  Toddlers are no different.  So where do we mark the accomplishment?

Maybe birth is the best marker of a person joining the human race after all. It is significant and very definitive.

Here’s your quiz:
Other than birth, what other marker would be good to celebrate?
Don’t you think that the mother should be the focal point of the birth date?
But is the birthday so important that we go to such effort and expense for them?

Birthdays - Yeah, It’s Mine Today So I Expect A LOT Of "Comments"
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)

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Ranina’s Ruminations


Electronic Cigarettes

I knew this would happen. I started buying e-cig starter kits about 2 years ago. I sampled several different types to find one I really liked and I now have five that I favor. That was my quest to give up cigarettes and save money.

After my purchases, I still found it difficult to switch. A cigarette break is a chance to relax and enjoy your smoke. The e-cig does not require a break, as you can continue whatever you are doing while inhaling odorless vapor (vaping). The sensation of inhaling vapor is not quite the same as inhaling real smoke generated by burning tobacco surrounded by paper and lit by fire. Vaping is a much smoother, more subtle experience. While offering the same nicotine dose, it takes a bit of getting used to. I found the benefits very much worth the transition.

After the switch, I discovered that I could breathe much better. My oxygen level was at 100% when measured by respiratory therapy (shocking the therapist, who said it was better than hers). My sense of smell and taste improved dramatically. Everything I did (including getting ready for work each morning) took less time because I didn’t need to take smoke breaks.

I discovered even more benefits. I didn’t smell like smoke. My hair smelled clean. I didn’t have to constantly chew gum to cover up smoke breath. I didn’t have terrible cravings for nicotine when in places where smoking was not allowed like airplanes, conferences, hospitals, offices, classrooms, etc. There was no danger of falling asleep with a lit cigarette and burning the house down. I didn’t have to constantly use air freshener or burn scented candles to eliminate the odor of smoke in the house. I wasn’t bothering anyone else with second-hand smoke. And if I wanted to use this product as an aid to quit smoking, I could purchase cartridges for it in decreasing nicotine potency until I was using cartridges with no nicotine at all.

I’m sure there are more benefits than I have listed, but those are pretty impressive benefits, don’t you think? In fact, it’s pretty much like something too good to be true. And when something seems too good to be true, I am always on alert for that giant shoe to drop down from the sky on my head, ruining my joy. I know that there are always people who cannot stand to see you enjoying something, despite their efforts to take that something away from you, even though you are not bothering them. I also knew that the government would step in as soon as vaping became popular enough for them to realize that people were avoiding the constant, heavy-handed tax increases they were imposing on cigarette smokers. The premise they pose is that they are trying to discourage smoking, but even a lizard brain knows that’s a smoke screen (pun intended).

If a product is potentially deadly and you decide to tax it rather than make it illegal, you are not trying to save people from it. You are wallowing in greed. You don’t care about anyone at all as long as they are paying you, and it is not “for the children,” as politicians always claim when they need to pick a justification out of the sky.

Though I only use the tobacco flavor, the e-cig cartridges I use come in just about every imaginable flavor. I have tried other flavors just for fun and liked them. Yet some people claim that the flavors, which include liquors, are aimed at children. The site I use requires customers to acknowledge that they are 18 or older.

So… as predictable as ever, we have this legislation against something that may actually be a life-saving product for addicted smokers, and does not affect anyone other than the product user. Sure… that just makes all kinds of sense. I always need the government to save me from myself.

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Kirsten’s Krazy Kaleidoscope

Kirsten

Kirsten will be back Wednesday.

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Lucille’s Lunacy


A friend of mine died earlier this week. She was a case worker for our local welfare department. Even the parents whose children she had to place in foster homes agreed that she was fair, and they didn’t mind dealing with her.

She died of lung cancer. She had been a heavy smoker for years, and it finally caught up with her. She isn’t the first person I know of who died of this disease. My father died of surgery, but he submitted to that indignity because of lung cancer.

Radar’s husband died of lung cancer several years ago. He came home from his truck driving job one weekend complaining of arthritis. Lung x-rays didn’t reveal any problems, but apparently the kind of lung cancer that killed him can’t be detected by X-ray.

Radar’s brother-in-law also had lung cancer. Happily enough, he went back to truck driving, gave up smoking, and has been alive for 13 years since his surgery.

I quit smoking 8 years ago. It wasn’t easy. I enjoyed the first cigarette I smoked when I was 16, and the last one I crushed out a few weeks before my 50th birthday. After my lungs cleared out initially, I can’t say I had many physical problems associated with smoking.

In the end, the effects of smoking on any individual is anyone’s guess. You could avoid cancer altogether, like I have. A permanent remission is possible, like Radar’s brother-in-law, You could die after an 8 week coma like my dad, or go in three months like Radar’s husband.

I feel sorry for anyone who is addicted to nicotine. They didn’t have e-cigs when I quit, so I tried patches, gum and the inhaler. I finally quit with the lozenges. It wasn’t easy, and anyone who tells you it is has never tried to give up an addiction.

My friend who died was 53 years old. She is a mere 3 years older than I was when I quit. I first heard about her lung cancer in August, and she is already gone. It is a profound event for me. I miss her, and am sorry she passed away at such a young age. I’m sorry she didn’t quit smoking soon enough. I’m sorry she went through chemo and surgery before she passed, instead of sitting on her front porch having peaceful thoughts about her too short life. I’m glad I quit smoking when I did. There but for the grace of G-d go I.

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Poet-Tree


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cliff!!

Odds and Ends - Witches: Myth or fact? 1) Real witches are Wiccan; 2) Real witches worship satan, and "pagan" means "satanist"; 3) The pentagram is the symbol of Satan; 4) All real witches are female; 5) The persecution of real witches is over; 6) Witches Worship Satan; 7) Wichcraft and Wicca are the same thing; 8) Witches practice evil sorcery and can put a curse on you; 9) All Witches Practice black magic; 10) Witches are obsessed with sex and dancing naked. Actually, they are all myths. For explanations of each one, CLICK HERE. One other interesting fact - a male witch is not a called a wizard or a warlock. A male witch is simply called a witch. Warlock is actually a negative term that means traitor.

Thanks for your limericks! Try this fill-in -

I once kissed a witch on her _______

Hints:  Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool.  http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules.  http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm 

Submit Opening Line
Submit Limerick

I once saw a snake in my bed…..
Close to where I lay my head…..
So I got me a stick…..
And dispatched him right quick…..
And now the sucker is dead.
- Skeeter
I once saw a snake in my bed…..
Was startled…..’nuff said…..
So to give myself closure…..
I regained my composure…..
And now I’m not seeing red.
- Skeeter
I once saw a snake in my bed…..
So I started calling him Fred…..
Commands he wouldn’t obey…..
And still won’t to this day…..
Though I try to keep him well fed.
- Skeeter
She once saw a snake in her bed…..
Lying beside a lovely red head…..
So she gave him a jolt…..
From her trusty old Colt…..
And now his head is quite red!!!
- Sue
I once saw a snake in my bed…..
He said his name was Ted…..
He was really quite nice…..
Had eaten all the mice…..
I learned he was a brother to Fred.
- Skeeter
She once saw a snake in her bed…..
He’d been led astray, could be said…..
By the gal laying beside him…..
Now she couldn’t abide him…..
The stone says, "Here lies Ned".
- Sue
Reader Comments


Re: Color

The most spectacular panorama of fall color I have ever seen was when coming home on Route 77 north through West Virginia between Charleston and Marietta, Ohio. The broad sweep of the Appalachians simply loaded with changing trees was awesome! - Nancy L in Ohio


Re: Facebook Peeves

and the thing that makes ME shudder most about Facebook is the distortion of a language that has so much more capability than the users use! “…guilt you..” for instance, turns a noun into a verb.
So much of this is happening that our language is actually shrinking. Grammar is changing in fact, while schools are trying to teach kids what it is supposed to be. Of course, a high percentage of kids always did half sleep through Grammar classes, and only found out when they matured that they should have paid more attention back when. So far, the best writers of books still use words like the gems they are, but I would bet this short-cut and mangling of parts of speech stuff will eventually make today’s verbalizing very different. - Nancy L in Ohio


Re: Medical Marijuana

Well then. I am sure we have all seen the many photos of our President in his youth smoking a joint. And it is no secret he was a member of a group who glories in the use of marijuana. Any comments from anywhere in the MSM on it? No. Wonder why? - Carol T



Since I’m a lawyer, I never let the demon weed pass my lips. It is well known that lawyers never lie, so I assume I’ve settled that issue. Nevertheless, — what was the question? Oh, yeah, legalizing pot. All right, I think pot should be legal for those who use it, and illegal for those who don’t. There. I knew I could find a way to be balanced in my response. - Lucille


Re: Medical Marijuana

I find this business of college students, or any kid over the age of 10 years old not knowing how to make beds, do laundry let alone fold it and other house hold chores absolutely unforgivable, and the parents aught to be charged with a form of abuse for allowing it to happen.
Just who do they think is going to take care of their sorry…s! when they get old if they do not teach their children to be responsible? And further more who do they think is going to take care of those kids when the parents kick off? And BTW while I’m on this vain, does anyone think that a real woman wants a man that can’t really do any thing around the house at all? I mean really! If they can’t fold clothes, and wash them and make beds and other stuff that keeps a house going, do you really think they’re going to know anything about 2:00-AM feedings, and how to change a diaper?
What about you men out there? Do you really and truly want a woman who can’t cook, clean, and take care of you?
What is wrong with you people who think you need your kids to need you after they’re grown? It is not even natural to do this stuff? It is the natural thing to train your kids while they are young how to take care of themselves, and how to go out and make their own way in this world.
I am totally and completely blind. Have been at the very least partially blind all my life, and totally blind for the majority of it, and I can clean house, wash dry and fold clothes, and not only with a machine but by hand. I can sew on a button. I can cook an entire meal not to exclude a Thanksgiving turkey, and I can help take care of the yard. What is your excuse oh you lazy youth of today? - Patty

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Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time to time.  I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.

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