08/26/20

The Imperfect Storm

America finds itself in the hold of several substantial challenges — the Imperfect Storm.

Chief amongst them are the following:

 1. The Pandemic

 2. The economic impact of the Pandemic

 3. The civil unrest in our cities

 4. The #DefundPolice v Black Lives Matter confrontation

 5. Government response to diminished tax revenues

 6. The Election

I call this witch’s brew of challenges the Imperfect Storm. It will test us, but we will pass the test. There may be extra innings.

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08/2/20

The Waning Ability To Hold Two Competing Thoughts At The Same Time

In my now post-COVID bliss, with my newly cleared mind, with my returning brain cells, I make bold to say that we are really getting stupid at a time that we need to be smart.

What pops to mind is our inability to hold competing thoughts inside our single brain.

We once debated the merits of Miller Lite thusly:

“Less filling.”

“Tastes great.”

The critical thinker of the time would whisper to his beloved, “Maybe it’s both?”

The beloved would respond, “Of course it is, you moron.”

Then, we would say to ourselves, “Well of course. It can be two ideas at the same time, those ideas are not really in conflict, they are not mutually exclusive, and my brain is large enough to hold both of them without exploding.”

Were we smarter in those simpler days?

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03/20/20

Being An American In Trying Times

I once asked a man who had been in the Army when Pearl Harbor happened what it felt like to be attacked and lose most of our fleet in the mud. I imagined it was harrowing. I imagined that America was scared to its core. I was wrong.

This man would fight in the war in Italy — through two hard winters — carrying an M1 until he was “asked” to run a battery of 105mm guns in support of his infantry regiment and was ultimately to receive a battlefield commission ending the war capturing a German railway construction battalion which he oversaw as POWs.

“So, how did that feel?” I asked him, meaning how did that feel the day of and after Pearl Harbor.

He looked at me with the wise look that men who have lived hard lives like him, who have put his ass on the line for our country, who have killed our enemies in close combat, who have shot it out in direct eyeball-to-eyeball fire with Kraut 88s across Italian valleys, and he said, “I knew we were going to put an ass whipping on those Japs like they never imagined.”

I was incredulous because I had read west coast newspapers of that time and they had the Japs landing in California any day now. The Japs took the Philippines and a bunch of other places. The Germans had already invaded Poland two years earlier. The Germans declared war against us and we had fewer than 200,000 men in the Army and they had 6,000,000 plus great tanks and those damn 88s.

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07/27/19

Skin In The Game

I woke up this morning to a lovely Texas day. It is a good habit to get into — waking up every morning. I am on a run that I hope to continue for a long time. Wish me well.

In my first look about at things, I was struck with awe and gratitude that the particular zip code in which I woke was in the United States of America.

I am amongst 330,000,000 persons who have the distinction of calling themselves Americans. Today, I don’t care where you came from, how you got here, whether you did it legally or not — I am just overwhelmed with our collective good fortune. Yours and mine.

Which raised another question: How did I ever come to  deserve this enormous blessing?

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03/11/19

What Chaos?

We Americans are a tough people. Hard to believe that when you see what a bunch of victims and cupcakes we see on the Internet, but at our core, we are resolute survivors.

I used to ask my father if he thought my generation could have fought and won World War II. He received a battlefield commission in Italy running a Cannon Company shooting it out daily with Kraut 88s while in his twenties.

He would get a solemn look on his face and say, “The sons of tigers are tigers.” I never really understood what he meant.

I recently read something sent from a pal and it hit home on the subject. It focused on who we were back in 1969, half a century ago. Most of y’all weren’t born then, but I was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, the Vietnam War was raging, in the mess hall there were moments of silence for VMI men killed in that war, and the country was aflame with riots.

I like to tell people today, “You have no idea what a proper riot looks like, Ace. You should have seen the Vietnam War riots. Now, those were riots.”

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10/22/18

America – Go Upcountry

Big Red Car here on a gloomy Monday in America (haha, Texas, really). The rains stopped and yesterday was sunny, but it’s gray today. Getting cold (58F).

Today, the country feels divided. Divided by things political and a number of important issues. We have mid-term elections in a couple of weeks and, today, early voting starts in Texas.

Image result for american images

Are we really divided? I don’t want to answer that question, but I do want to suggest that part of the solution is to go take a look at our country. Not your city, your neighborhood — the country.

If you live in a big state like Texas (On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all) then go around your state. If you live in a tiny state like Maryland, then you have to go to other states. Discover America.

How do you do it?

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