Tag Archives: History

Cash for Negroes

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn't sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it's included in the Johnson County Museum.

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn’t sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it’s included in the Johnson County Museum.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The Kansas City area has as much history as any area of its size in the United States.  Every few hundred yards there’s a sign, “California Trail crossed here“, “Santa Fe Trail  crossed here“,   “Oregon Trail crossed here“, and “Overland Trail crossed here“.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam.  Today it's mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining.  This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam. Today it’s mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining. This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

Yet over and over again as you puruse the exhibits in the Johnson County Historical Museum you’ll find yourself muttering, “Why is this place so Goddamned lame?”

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn't last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were.  All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn’t last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were. All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Some historians possessing PHDs have believed almost all babies born to pioneers nine months after resting overnight within this geographical area were conceived here.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool.  Gypsies, tramps and thieves.  Safecrackers.  Negroes.  Patriots.  Whatever works.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool. Gypsies, tramps and thieves. Safecrackers. Negroes. Patriots. Whatever works.

There used to be cowboys and Indians, stagecoaches, battles between  the north and south, raids, rapes, plunderings, blunderings, Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson, Jessse and Frank James, the Daltons, the Youngers.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

But Kansans know everyone was pretty much passing through, either time-wise, or on their way somewhere else geographically.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII.  But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII. But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Part of the problem is that even though human beings live fairly long lives, human memories are short and budgets are ‘budget-years‘.  Budget decades might allow for long-term alliances and loyalty between friends measured in years or longer.  But budget-years demand constant realignment to keep the funding rolling in.

To help everyone remember when there's a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried.  War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who's the enemy this week.  Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

To help everyone remember when there’s a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried. War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who’s the enemy this week. Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

Weaponry ideology has been attempted on numerous occasions.

This was intended as a morale builder.  Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

This was intended as a morale builder. Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

But attempting to get Kansans out of the yellow brick road mindsets and into  the Jesse James and John Dillinger approaches to history doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

If one of those guys had long hair I'd lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

If one of those guys had long hair I’d lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

Maybe there’s still something from the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant days still to be learned and useful.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock.  I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock. I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

Old Jules

They wore out the Muslims – familiarity bred contempt

Hi readers:

The ‘Us’ government’s searching frantically for a new threat, trying to create a believable illusion of  a new cold war with Russia, then talking increased military tensions with China.  But it ain’t easy.

Sure, Russia still exists.  On paper, anyway, run by a bunch of Mafia-types who know they can’t make any money if they’re all shot to pieces by anyone, including the Us.

And China?  Well, even though Washingtonians are prone to stupidity and self-blindsidedness, most recall the Us hasn’t won a war since 1945.  And the ones it didn’t win most spectacularly were coincidentally in Asia.

Fact is we couldn’t even defeat little bitty pissant North Korea in a shooting war back when our soldiers were still real he-men.  We couldn’t even whip North Vietnam, or fight them down so’s they’d let us leave in a relaxed, organized way.  The Us left Vietnam in an every-man-for-himself devil-take-the-hindmost scramble.  Running and looking over their shoulders the whole time.  Peace with honor, Nixon called it.

So who is going to be scared Washington will be stupid enough to get into a war with China?  Nobody.  Who’s going to believe anyone in Washington is going to get us into a shooting war with the Rooskies?  Nobody.  And they’re scared of everyone in Asia, including North Korea.  Nobody wants to see North Korea kick our asses in another shooting war.

Trouble is, nobody’s scared of the Muslims anymore.  Every time we send the military somewhere new over there they roll over and play dead without racking up a decent death-toll of Us troops.  Sure, they kill a few, and a lot more Us troops raise the ante by killing themselves, but even with that it’s just not enough to get the juices of patriotism flowing anymore.

One thing they mightn’t have considered, though:  Asians can win wars against Asians.  Fighting a good proxy war with China using Japanese troops might work and since no Us troops need be getting shot up, the Us citizenry could probably get behind it.

Even better, getting the South Koreans and Japanese fighting on the same team, invading Manchuria, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanking and so-on might work.

I can see how the Us citizenry might get behind that if only for the relief from the ennui of yawning Muslim terror snores it would provide.  And we could sell the weaponry to both sides.

The only way we’re likely to ever win a war in Asia now that Japan has its guard up.

Old Jules

 

Sarcophageal cancer risks

I don't understand this gravestone item except the foot in the lower right corner.  I understand the foot, mostly.

King James 1 died of sarcophageal cancer in 1625 ce. I don’t understand this gravestone item except the foot in the lower right corner. I understand the foot, mostly.

Hi Readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I have some loose ends here in need of exploitation, same as everything else we humans touch need exploiting.  These are photos not quite lousy enough in concept to justify tossing them, but not juicy enough to justify a blog entry built around them.

Olathe Community Theater Association - one block east, currently  the eastern extremity of my attempts to walk somewhere.  Easternmost bastion of artsy fartsyism from where I live and breathe.

Sarcophagus of a church:  Olathe Community Theater Association – one block east, currently the eastern extremity of my attempts to walk somewhere. Easternmost bastion of artsy fartsyism from where I live and breathe.

For instance [above], Olathe, KS is full of neighborhood churches gone to meet Jesus leaving behind useful buildings to be converted by sinners into nothing particularly holy.

Back when everyone thought radioactivity was harmful to human beings a person would see a lot of these.  Today you have to visit a ghost-town to find them.  Anachronistic tomfoolery.  How dare they deny science by being scared of a little radioactivity?

Back when everyone thought radioactivity was harmful to human beings a person would see a lot of these. Today you have to visit a ghost-town to find them. Anachronistic tomfoolery. How dare they deny science by being scared of a little radioactivity?

Sarcophagus of Sunflower US Army Ammunition Plant contains lots of smaller sarcophagi above and below:

Sunflower Ammo shot its wad but that's no reason to get careless.  Hope you folks found other jobs.

Sunflower Ammo shot its wad but that’s no reason to get careless. Hope you folks found other jobs.

Let’s not forget Dorothy, the Tin Man, et all while we explore the ammo plant sarcophagus. [ http://kensas.kdhe.state.ks.us/certop/ISL_Detail?id=C404600052]

West Side Story said it best:  Nobody wants a fella with a social disease.

West Side Story said it best: Nobody wants a fella with a social disease.

There’s a small problem on the cleanup thing.  They runned spang out of money.  The sarcophagus of a once-useful piece of real estate after all the profiteers ran and hid, disclaimed kinship.

Possibly too much honesty displayed here.

Possibly too much honesty displayed here.

Some things probably shouldn’t be put on a sign.

Don't be drinking cereal malt beverages around here.  Whatever the hell those might be.

Don’t be drinking cereal malt beverages around here. Whatever the hell those might be.

This is the nature park outside Sunflower Ammo Plant.

Kansas Museum for the Deaf - one block north, the extremity of my walking distance northward.  Northernmost bastion of artsyfartsyism from where I live and continue to breathe.

Kansas Museum for the Deaf – one block north, the extremity of my walking distance northward. Northernmost bastion of artsyfartsyism from where I live and continue to breathe.

Back in Olathe, one block north.

I’m feeling much better now.  Glad we had this little talk.

Old Jules

We few. We happy few. We band of brothers

arrows

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Predominantly draft era veterans end up at VA hospitals I’ve observed.  And we’ve got all the warts and scars to suggest we were a flawed segment of humanity.  Truth is, watching the mannerisms and behaviors we still are.  Flawed, certainly, many also pathetic as individual personalities.  Needy.  Obnoxious.

But strangely enough, there’s a constant undercurrent of moments cutting through the lies on top of lies and BS revealing something I’m ashamed to admit I suspect is a sort of brotherhood.  A smile and wink in an elevator from a guy in a wheelchair with more problems than me.  Thumbs up signs when someone gets called to see one of the sawbones or other ‘team’ members.

Granted, most of the conversations going on are lies about things that happened when in the military.  But when I brought up the subject of the Afghan/Iraq vets suicides the lies stopped and were replaced by frowning thought.  A momentary pause to try to understand.

It’s there to be recognized.  And it can also be found in the mention of the guys on ‘the 10th floor’.  The guys who are ‘still in Vietnam’.  Everyone knows about those guys and they only get mentioned in muted tones, phrases expressing horror and awe.

We few.  We happy few.  We band of brothers who aren’t on the 10th floor.

Old Jules

 

Draft era Vets ponder all-volunteer era vet suicides in VA Med Center waiting rooms

This guy died last year.  He'd have been 20 in 1948.  The pic on the headstone shows him wearing Sgt. stripes.  The stone says Lt. Col. Okay.  Also says he was a 'left' gunner.  Presumably a waist gunner on a B24?  Did B17s have a machine gun blister on the waist?  Anyway, 59 combat missions by a guy who didn't turn 17 until 1945?  And decorated with a bronze star.  Claims WWII, Korea and Vietnam as his own.   Anything happen in his life afterward, you suppose?  Something factual, for instance and worth remembering him for?

This guy died last year. He’d have been 20 in 1948. The pic on the headstone shows him wearing Sgt. stripes. The stone says Lt. Col.
Okay. Also says he was a ‘left’ gunner. Presumably a waist gunner on a B24? Did B17s have a machine gun blister on the waist? Anyway, 59 combat missions by a guy who didn’t turn 17 until 1945? And decorated with a bronze star. Claims WWII, Korea and Vietnam as his own.
Anything happen in his life afterward, you suppose? Something factual, for instance and worth remembering him for?

Lieutenant Colonel Smith in traditional reality.

Lieutenant Colonel Smith in traditional reality.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Hanging around the waiting rooms at the VA Medical Center today I got talking with other draft-era vets about these all volunteer military vets suiciding so frequently.  All of them I broached the subject with were anxious to talk about it.

Generally one possibility all expressed is that these modern-day vets are a bunch of woosies.  Nobody’s ruling that out early in the ponderings.  But digging into it, all agreed there must have been something in their expectations far removed from the reality they experienced.

What the hell could that be?  They joined knowing the US engages in all manner of protracted, meaningless wars.  They must have known they’d stand an excellent chance of ending up in one or another of them.

Well, okay.  A lot of them got to kill people who didn’t need killing.  Maybe more than back in earlier times.  And they got accused of being heroes when every last one of them knows THAT is a lie.

But what else?  They joined for the high pay, the benefits, house loan, educational and maybe  health benefits.  They got all that, plus 30 days vacation and 30 days sick leave per year.  They got the Dollar Tree stores and that ilk asking customers to give a dollar to support their kids with school supplies all in the same breath.  Which is to say, they became beggars by proxy.  Victims by virtue of some of the most bizarre reasoning of which the human mind is capable of indulging.

Unanimous about all this, we draft-era veterans.  Pondered it, I did, all the way back to Olathe discussing it with the transport driver who was a pre-Gulf War I veteran [never left Fort Blizz, Texas].  He agreed, too.

It took Jeanne, who doesn’t know pork from venison about military service, to add what might be the answer:

How,” Jeanne asked me, “do you know they haven’t been killing themselves after every war since the Civil War?  How would you have heard about it without the Internet?”

In fact, probably nobody was even paying attention to the matter back then   Certainly not the sort of information the government would be waving around in recruiting offices.  “I WANT YOU!”, says Uncle Sam pointing, “And you’ll hate yourself in the morning.”

Old Jules

Jesse Winchester – The courage to do what’s right

Hi readers:

Probably most of you don’t remember Jesse Winchester.  He was a somewhat obscure singer and guitar picker who had the courage, savvy and ethical commitment to go to Canada when he got called to be drafted instead of serving in a war he knew was wrong.

The Learn to Love It album was the best he ever did and it came at a time when neanderthals were waving flags and banners saying, America – Love it or Leave it!

Jesse never whined about the consequences of his patriotism.

He’s dead from cancer of the goozle today.

Thank you for your service, Jesse.

Jack

The Vietnam War finally explained

Why are these men not in jail? (photo: Getty Images)

Above:  People carefully avoiding inadvertent visits to Vietnam.  http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/345-justice/22925-vietnam-is-sentencing-corrupt-bankers-to-death-by-firing-squad

Hi readers.

I’ve you’re like me the two burning mysteries of the 20th Century concern US submersion into two foreign wars:  WWI and Vietnam.

WWI will probably always remain a piece of unexplainable and unexplained craziness.  But suddenly the underlying reason for the Vietnam War bubbles to the surface of 21st Century reality almost out of nowhere.

The bastards execute corrupt bankers!

Vietnam Is Sentencing Corrupt Bankers to Death by Firing Squad”  http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/345-justice/22925-vietnam-is-sentencing-corrupt-bankers-to-death-by-firing-squad

Sheeze!  There was never anything in that country worth a single US life and it never made any sense any US troop had to set foot on the soil there.  Just some crazy-assed paranoid ‘domino theory’ was how they justified it at the time.  But secretly the US Government probably knew the Vietnamese were capable of thinking outside the box.

Any place that has the potential for standing corrupt bankers up before firing squads and blowing them into the next lifetime is sure as hell a place that needs stopping.  That’s the sort of idea that could catch hold.

Dangerous stuff.

Hell, if we had another hundred yards of Vietnam Memorial Wall and it saved the life of one corrupt banker it would be worth it.  Executing politicians, bankers, war industrialists is just the sort of subversive thinking that caused the Russian Revolution.  Got the whole fatcat aristocracy sitting on the heads of starving peasants killed off and replaced by a different kind of killer-shark.

We’ve been a bit short of wars lately, but here’s an opportunity to fill the gap.  But this time, a Constitutionally legal war declared by the US Congress.  A new Vietnam War everyone who matters will be able to understand and sympathize.

Bomb those bastards back to the stone age.  Destroy them to save them.

Fact is, if this were adopted in the US it would silence all this dissent about the death penalty.  Likely there’d be ticker-tape parades.  Where the hell would that leave us?

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

 

 

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans need to toughen up

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Evidently these people who volunteered for the most recent Presidential Wars seem to be coming home and offing themselves at a rate of 22 per day. Probably there’s a hidden message in there somewhere.

But the big problem is they’re whining and crying about it beforehand, trying through their, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization to get new special treatment and benefits for themselves and hire professionals to talk them out of it.

IAVA’s efforts have made an impact, as Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), the first Iraq war veteran to serve in the senate, introduced comprehensive legislation that would increase mental health professionals at VA, enhance collaboration with the Pentagon, and review cases of soldiers who may have been wrongly discharged for “invisible wounds.”

“Returning home from combat does not erase what happened there, and yet red tape and government dysfunction have blocked access to the care that saves lives,” Walsh said in a statement to Business Insider. “It is our duty to come together for real solutions for our heroes.”

Just my opinion here, but there’s a really money-saving way to prevent all that. Veterans speaking out noisily to potential enlistees telling them all the reasons they are going to hate themselves for volunteering to serve in a Presidential War might be a good beginning. Then quitting accusing themselves of being heroes next breath after rolling ’round on the floor weeping about not enough sympathy.  Recognizing there are concomitant sacrifices that come with the financial and other benefits for joining a military force.  Abdicating personal moral and ethical choices to politicians and soldiers where the information’s already out there about the brushfire wars the nation loves to submerge itself in.

Hell, these people offing themselves know best whether their lives are worth living. But if they want a shoulder to cry on there’s plenty of help available already through the VA, and it’s easily accessible. Just take a look on the right sidebar:

https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal;MHV_JSESSIONID=slK7T6vZ49t4TLd81GkdytND025vBpWx4msqx0qJplMXny1WpT0B!-1419889142?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=mhvHome

What almost certainly won’t help is  S.2182,  the Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act to liven things up.  It would save a lot of money and effort, not to mention veterans hating themselves afterward, if we’d just stay the hell out of Presidential Wars.  See if that doesn’t clear the problem up without any mindless legislation.

Old Jules

Radiation ain’t all that bad

sunflower asbestosHi readers.

I saw a movie on Netflix named, Pandora’s Promise.  It was interviews with all manner of people who used to be against nuclear power plants, but changed their minds.  ‘Good’ environmentalists, mostly.

Their logic is that they were duped by other ‘Bad’ environmentalists into thinking nuclear power plants were bad and dangerous, but that not all that many people died from Chernobyl, and not all that many are dying from Fukushima.  And that most of the time nukes are cleaner than coal and don’t kill as many people.

These ‘Good’ Environmentalists understand that without nuclear power they can’t do anything about climate change, which of course, they haven’t been duped by Bad Environmentalists about.  All that stuff about health consequences of radiation exposure was BS.  Bad Science.  Whereas, everything about climate change is GOOD science.  “How dare they,” one pro-nuclear environmentalist shouts of climate change ‘deniers’, “Deny SCIENCE?  This isn’t the DARK ages.”

Convincing movie.  Leads me to think we were all duped a lot earlier than that, back when the USSR was making such a nuisance of itself.  We could have bombed those people back to the stone age if we’d never had our heads confused about fallout shelters, genetic drift, mutants, nuclear winter and all the rest.  Hell, if someone had told us the only thing we had to worry about was the blast, EMP, shockwaves rolling around knocking things down, firestorms, hell, I think we’re all big enough we could have handled that.

What Fukushima actually proves is they’re spending way too much money building safety features into those nuclear power plants.  Those they had didn’t help, and when the whole thing went south it just hasn’t been all that bad.

Plus there are a lot of people alive today who wouldn’t be if we hadn’t let ourselves be duped into believing getting nuked would be a bad thing because of radioactive fallout.

It’s a heartbreaker.

Old Jules

 

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, "Poor Little Robin," "Walkin' walkin' walkin to Missouri."  But this ain't a robin.

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, “Poor Little Robin,” “Walkin’ walkin’ walkin to Missouri.” But this ain’t a robin.

Hi readers.  I dunno.  The Kansas State Bird is the Western Meadowlark.  Don’t even bother suggesting that’s what it’s all about.

But all over Kansas City and the surrounding area a person will see that damned cartoon character parrot.  Bumperstickers, flags in yards, even on gravestones.

Occasionally a person will see the word, “Jayhawk” associated with the damned parrot.  A jayhawk isn’t, I believe, an actual bird, so much as a Civil War pejorative used by people with long memories referring to the Kansas-version of the Missouri ‘bushwhackers’.  Irregulars, citizen soldiers using the excuse of war and hatred to rape loot and plunder anyone who disagreed with them.

I don’t think this is a jayhawk.  I think it’s a hell-of-a-lot more likely it’s a damned robin walking to Missouri, and the people displaying it aren’t happy with gasoline being so much cheaper just across the State boundary.

But what the hell do I know?

Old Jules