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
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
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
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.
On This Article
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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
Lost Gas Cap
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
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!”
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
Most Embarrassing Moment
My Scariest Moment
Speak right up!
Often, I have wondered why it is we celebrate birthdays. I’ve
pondered that at least 61 times that I know of. Probably more
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
But is the birthday so important that we go to such effort and expense
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’)
on this article
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
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.
On This Article
Kirsten will be back Wednesday.
On This Article
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.
On This Article
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cliff!!
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; 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.
for your limericks! Try this fill-in -
I once kissed a witch on her _______
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
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.
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.
|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.
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!!!
|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.
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".
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Click here to see the archives of past issues, or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reallygoodquotes/messages.
If you run across something really outstanding when perusing the archives,
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and point it out to me. I’m in the process of compiling an e-book
called, not surprisingly, The Best of RGQ, and I’d like to hear from you
which pieces impacted you the most.
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