Tag Archives: psychology

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

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

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

Ex Post Facto: The retroactive waltz of point-men and snipers

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I finally got to see a primary care physician in that KC VA Medical Center.

KC VA Med Ctr

I arrived early and put my defibrillator to the test carrying a 20# daypack 150 yards across that parking lot, up the hill to the entrance, and a quarter-mile of heroesque hallways.  Registered and waited around a comfy area filled with old vets.

At which point life became a hoot.

Jeeze we veterans are a bunch of liars!  And we all know it, but remain silent on the issue so’s when our turn comes all the the others will nod sagely and pretend we aren’t just blowing pure unmitigated horse manure back and forth at one another.

So here in this Hero Hall you’ve got close to a hundred of us, maybe a third wearing VIETNAM VET, or some other VETERAN nuanced headgear.  And roughly a third of those are talking in loudmouthed indignation about something a first sergeant did or said forty years ago in a different country.

Meanwhile the other 2/3 wearing the Veteran caps nod and wait patiently for that vocally active third to finish or pause for a breath so’s they can cut in and tell what some first sergeant did or said to THEM forty years ago in some foreign land.

Those of us not wearing Veteran headgear listen deadpan, saying nothing, doing nothing to break the spell of dramatic fantasies, of young men who never existed prowling through the jungles of our imaginary youths doing and saying courageous things for the betterment of mankind and Freedom.

“Hell man,” I muttered to the guy sitting next to me, “I must be the only person here who wandered Asia trying to get a dose of clap, never met a hero.  Never sacrificed a damned thing in the service of this country.  I can’t recall a first sergeant ever knowing I was alive.”

The guy smiled at me.  “Not me.  I was an Air Force Sniper working out of the finance office in Danang.  Spent the whole time killing zipperheads except when I was in an office doing payrolls.”

About then a nurse called my name and I trekked breathlessly back to see a physician.  He hadn’t received all my med records from the recent hospital stay, so we’re starting all over.  Got an EKG, Lab [blood] work, complete stomach sonogram, and XRays to get out of the way brand spanking new before I can be seen by a VA cardiologist.  He says they can’t get the records from the Olathe Medical Center work because the VA computer is connected to the National Defense computer system, which might be compromised if they allowed outside data to be transmitted into it.

So they’ll just have to do it all again.  Though if I go over to Olathe Med Ctr. and get them to photocopy everything and carry it along when I see the cardiologist he figures the specialist might look through it if I provide it that method and that context.  Maybe.

So at least I’ve got some things I can do to improve my health this week, picking up those records at Olathe Med, going over to KC MO VA for all that expensive medical testing I’ve donealready had, getting it again so’s to be able to see a cardiologist.

Confidence raising, being able to do something uncharacteristically positive.

Somehow it’s vaguely reminescent of back when I was an infantry point man and sniper in the US Army in a country I never had the pleasure to visit.

Old Jules

Desalinated, molassted and tofued into submission

Believe it or don't, this stuff makes a tasty substitute for soy sauce and woostershire sauce.  Blend it with rice vinegar and it makes tasteless goop go down easier.

Blackstrap molasses:  Believe it or don’t, this stuff makes a tasty substitute for soy sauce and woostershire sauce. Blend it with rice vinegar and it makes tasteless goop go down easier.

Hi readers.

I’m not going to say I think cardiologists know what they’re talking about, but in the matter of no sodium/extremely low sodium in the diet I believe they’re correct in spite of the fact they said it.  I’d always thought if a person didn’t eat canned goods and didn’t salt his food he was on a low sodium diet.  But when I left the hospital they handed me a sheet of paper and took the trouble to read it to me as though I couldn’t read it for myself.

2000 mg.  2 grams of sodium per day these people were unsmilingly demanding I confine myself to.  And they sent along a list of food items in one column and how much salt each contained per one-measure-or-another.

I could see with one eye these ivory tower quacks didn’t know what they were talking about.  Heck, I’m betting there’s never been a day of my life when I wasn’t fasting when I didn’t consume more than two grams of salt.

So when I arrived back at Jeanne’s I slouched toward low sodium, waved the bloody flag at it, but was completely reasonable.  Non-fanatic, not any sort of no-salt extremist anyone need fear.  And noticed a rapid decline in my physical capabilities concurrently.

You all know by now I enjoy messing around cooking and experimenting with food preparation in sometimes bizarre ways.  And since I was losing my ability to walk any distance, I figured what the hell?  Jeanne got me a couple of books from the library on no salt and lowest sodium cooking, and I began concocting all manner of experimental food with no salt, or so little salt as to pass for none.  2 grams?  Ha!  I spit on 2 grams!  1 gram until I get this down pat.

cilantro corriander

Cilantro!  Onion powder!  Tomato powder!  Lime juice powder!  Molasses.  Garlic.  Dill.  These are the soldiers, the legions of the war against salt.

Began making chips from steamed sticky rice rolled down thin and baked.  Made the best catsup I’ve ever eaten in my life from tomato powder, lime juice powder, molasses and rice vinegar.  Made an absolute jewel of guacamole with garlic, green onion, jalapeno, avocado, tofu, and cilantro.  Deeeeelicious!

Made a soy sauce alternative from black strap molasses and vinegar, along with a few other spices.

And after a couple of days of less than two grams, yesterday I walked to the end of the block and back, one-way being an uphill grade.  Didn’t get knocked to my knees by my top-kick drill instructor, either.

So I doubt those cardiologists know what the hell they’re talking about, but sometimes even a blind hog finds an acorn.  A person doesn’t have to know what he’s talking about to be correct.

Old Jules