Me and The War, reblog, Part 2 of Who am I to have an About Page?

[This post was the second installment of the life history of… well, Me. The first time it appeared was in 2015. For my VCBs: Very Cool Bloggers, this post will be a re-run, please bear with me if you’ve read it before, and please enjoy it if its new.]


In the first installment of this feature, Who Am I to have an About Page? https://mumbletymuse.com/so-who-am-I-to-have-an-About-Page-?/   I started out as a newcomer to the world on a Friday the 13th, and by the end of Part One I had been to California and back, eaten part of a persimmon and part of a gourd, and had finished Kindergarten.  Which pretty much sets the stage for the second part of my life story.

Part Two:        ME AND THE WAR

That would be the Second World War, WWII, The Big One– the catalyst for the rise to world dominance of the United States.  I was eleven when the war ended in 1945, and I must say that I was one patriotic little girl.  I was so proud of the accomplishments of my country, in which we had emerged mostly safe and sound (those of us who had not been killed during the war years, of course) and had the distinction of being THE leader of the Free World.

But let me skip the rhetoric and get on with MY part of the War, which began in 1941…along with the arrival of my baby sister when I was eight and a half years old; my brother was six.  It was just us three until near the end of the war in 1945, when another sister joined our merry band.

One thing I recall about grade school is that there was a Congresswoman who regularly was permitted to leave fliers advertising her prowess in the U.S. Congress on our school desks.  She would come in and talk to us about how important it was for our parents to vote for her. Despite having been told, on my very first day of first grade,  by the teacher to “go home and never come back again,” as I explained to my parents when they picked me up walking home from school about an hour after classes began,  I did indeed continue with my education.  I remember well the adventures of Dick and Jane, Baby, and Spot, the stars of our first level readers.

The main thing going on everywhere was THE WAR.   We went to the movie theaters, and were treated to black and white newsreels showing bombs dropping from airplanes, Hitler’s marching troops in huge showy choreographed formations, and in-coming shipments of USA- flag-covered coffins.  We recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and read The Weekly Reader, a newspaper produced especially for school children at various levels. My grandfather taught me about television.  He had a floor-model radio, which had a large window area for tuning various stations on the radio, and he said that some day, after the war, we would be able to look at windows like that and see actual movies and real people talking and singing and the like.   I was properly impressed…this was undoubtedly the source of my great love of electronic stuff.

Then the newspapers, The Cleveland Press, The News, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer told us every day how many soldiers had been killed in battle, and kept us well informed about the terrible evil enemies of the United States on all areas of the world.   Toward the end of the war there was news about Hitler’s atrocities, and the Japanese cities evaporated by TWO atomic bombs.  The pictures were everywhere in magazines and newspapers. The newsreels at the movies were relentless in presenting the horrors of war, and these were incomprehensible to American kids, who had thankfully never had bombs dropped on them.

Movies themselves, presented on monster screens in huge movie theaters that always reminded me of palaces (not that I had ever been in a palace) also presented the great block-buster films of the 40s…complete with horror stories about the war. So this brings Me to the end of the Great War, and the beginning of the phenomenon known as THE COLD WAR.

The newspapers treated us to daily headlines screaming of annihilation and pending doom.  A particularly horrible series presented by the newspapers contained in part a huge bulls-eye, with segments indicating the extent of the death shadow that marked Cleveland…with its four NIKE missile sites forming at once a horrible defense capability of retaliation.  The center of the bulls-eye, of course, meant instant end to everything…out in the suburbs the threat lessened sequentially until by a distance of thirty miles out some percentage of life might survive.

BUT that survival would depend on bomb shelters, which might delay death by radiation by a couple of weeks. As children we were conversationally proficient about hydrogen bombs, pros and cons of including guns among bomb shelter supplies, and just how bad radiation poisoning was. So that was pretty much what one little girl knew about THE WAR… The next era of MY ABOUT PAGE    will be coming up soon:  THE 1950s

please stay tuned…

Mad Magazine revisited…the return of the spies and good old espionage tales

 

 

 

Image result for Spy vs Spy Cartoon Characters in public domain
Illustration is from a selection of Spy vs Spy images that are in the public domain.

 

Long ago and far away…in the scheme of my life…Mad Magazine was the favorite magazine for satire and farce, and making fun of the Cold War—which actually was not at all funny, and jokes about the Russians (called the Soviets then) were much in vogue.   The world being divided pretty much dominated by two camps: the United States and Russians.   Us and Them.   The rest of the world was either with us…or against us.

The Free World—in which the benevolence of the U.S. supervised and kindly contributed to the rest of the world.    Our motto: we will help you and give you goodies like weapons and allow a great measure of independence and sovereignty—as long as you do what we say.    That includes voting with the U.S. in world organizations, and supporting our extensive military bases in virtually every country in the world.      This has two major purposes: 1. holding strategic locations in the world from which the U.S. maintains control.   2. We will protect you from the enemy—which is namely: The Soviet Union.  The old USSR—behind the Iron Curtain.

And so the present situation unfolds…and the position of good old Uncle Sam deteriorates under this virtual siege by an unstable, unknowledgeable, poorly educated minority in the United States.

God knows where it will all end.

 

 

 

 

 

STILL GOT YOUR SOCKS ON? THIS WILL SCARE THE BEJEEZUS OUT OF MOST ANYONE! (from the Washington Post)

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/president-elect-donald-trump-is-about-to-learn-the-nations-deep-secrets/2016/11/12/8bf9bc40-a847-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html?wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

 

OK….I admit it…I’m scared!

There are people that I know very well, family members, friends, acquaintenaces from various times of my life who snicker or sneer at my fears.    They say I am of the “old school”—the “Cold War era”—afraid of bogies and ghosts of the past, as gifted us from the best selling authors of Spy Fiction.    You know—Tom Clancey et al.

I have been told in so many words that the old Cold War politics are passé.   I have been told, that  being an old woman— one having studied matters of the World, and especially the United States, of which I am an informed citizen and Historian—my views are left over from the bad old days when Russia was not our friend.

In the recent past I have been accused of “hating” my country.    WRONG…as our new president elect would say.    I have always likened this theory of un-Americanism to the case of a loving and devoted Great-Grandmother who accepts and loves all family members the same no matter what they do or how they live…or what they do.        She (ok… I….) love my country but not necessarily everything they do.

“My country right or wrong” was the slogan of a more patriotic time when we the people were psyched up for war, or invasion, or over-throwing sovereign governments, or killing world leaders that we don’t like.

Demonization…a process by which a leader/country/nationality/situation by which the citizenry is often known to fall in with a given idea at a proverbial snap of the fingers by whoever is  in charge.     Pick up the morning paper…or sign onto Yahoo…or flick the radio switch.   Chances are there will be a brand new name of someone that we as citizens need to oppose.   We are expected to absorb and believe in whatever truths and half-truths spew forth from the powers-that-be.

Remember a few years ago when we were all expected to be mad at France—because they declined leaping happily at invading or bombing or otherwise harassing another country?   Sort of a “We are having a War, and you are cordially invited (expected) to participate…or else we will make French Fry jokes and remarks about your manly prowess…”

 

 

 

 

childhood memories of war

Perhaps the most vivid memories of nursery tales were not of bunnies or bantering fairies…but of War and its aftermath.     We here in the United States did not suffer the horrors that children in other countries did, the bombings and air raids and worse.   But such accounts were very much vicariously present.    And directly following the Hot War followed the Cold War, with its insidious psychological terror.

I was eleven when World War II ended in 1945.    What I write here are my impressions as a child.

Here in the Cleveland, Ohio area we had three major daily newspapers in Cleveland,
in the 1940s-1950s.    Subtlety was not a virtue to our dueling newspapers, bent on gathering new and worse  predictions and statistics to entertain and scare the heck out of the readership.     Everyone read the papers…there was no television in the vast majority  of our homes, and except for newsreel productions in the movie theaters,  the newspapers were the major source for information about the “doomsday bullseye” which so impressed us as kids!   We lay on the floor with the front page of the paper spread out before us,   especially the issues with the giant bulleye dominating the front page…we traced the maps and figured out the implications for us personally…we lived  roughly 30 miles from the epicenter, which was presumeably down-town Cleveland.      In those days the  Cleveland area was a major producer of steel and—I was very proud to say—the twelfth largest city in the United States.

…tales of missile silos that later became parks
where ducks paddled in glistening ponds
surrounded by Lilies and Begonias
casting their colors in pinwheel flashes

This  was all a  grim and grotesque point of pride for me (for many of us kids) in the knowledge of having—within our own perimeter—huge metal monsters capable of unspeakable destruction.   This perverse, but prevailing situation had the effect of providing bragging points in discussing the relative extent of our living areas from the Bullseye Center at the heart of the city.   The really spooky thing is that my peers and I understood (mostly) the implications.  We discussed it in school, and excitedly and conspiratorially mapped our own possible destruction and theoretical  survival rather matter-of-factly, if not with particular sophistication.

The encouraging news—such as it was— lay in the conjecture that relative safety
existed outside of a radius of thirty miles… outside of the “immediate blast” area.
After that was a series of concentric rings, inside of which various stages of non-annihilation “might” exist.   This included various degrees of exposure to radiation,
and theoretical projected life-expectancy.

But comfort came in the form of experts’ advice on preparing our underground shelters and keeping them stocked with water and food… supplies sufficient for about two years.    Then came the horror of realization of implications that under the category of “supplies” would have to come stores of ammunition to arm the guns that would be necessary to guard our family stores  against neighbors and friends—and planning for continued survival AFTER the theoretical “all-clear” sirens sounded and we could come out of our shelters and return to — What?

Even us children understood that if the GOOD news was that survival from an atomic blast would (or might) be possible—this was also the BAD news.

 

 

 

 

WAIT! DO RUSSIANS REALLY OWN DONALD J. TRUMP? (Re-blogged from Jnana’s Red Barn.)

Very interesting speculation here. Thanks — Jnana!   for posting the link to Josh Marshall’s TPM (Talking Points Memo.) This information and revelations do indeed plug in to the overall Trump Mystery….it’s hard to believe he is just ignorant. WHY would the Russians be interested in “helping” The Donald? Hillary Clinton probably is, as you say, the last person Vladimir Putin might be stumping for in her bid for the presidency of the U.S. Do I believe in conspiracies? Of course…but as I like to say, just because I’m a conspiracy theorist doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me. 🙂

Jnana's Red Barn

Apart from the furor over the WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails is a much bigger, more troubling, question: Exactly why were the Russians doing covert electronic snooping against the American liberal party, anyway?

(Makes me wonder about the presumed security of U.S. State Department lines, by the way – the ones Hillary Clinton avoided at times, to the consternation of her partisan attackers.)

We might begin with the fact that Russian president Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton, probably because of her toughness as Secretary of State in opposition to his aggression.

But now Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo makes more serious connections as he looks at what he calls “the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Quite simply, as he notes, ” There is a lot of Russian money flowing into Trump’s coffers and he is conspicuously solicitous of Russian foreign policy priorities.”

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How Stupid Can We Be? commentary on common sense

uh…what a loaded question is that!

In the past half hour, tops, I began to wonder anew…how stupid could Stupid Be?   I turned on CNN fully expecting to getting some clues to that question, and was not disappointed.  (No dig at CNN…the completion is much worse.)

One– American fighter pilots have been told to ignore “agressive” Russian pilots over in Syria.  Actuallly, I thought they had been instructed to avoid each other.   Just as an aside, has anyone else recently become of the opinion that Washington, the U.S. military…maybe even the Rrussians…and especially the news media led by internet news are almost giddy at the prospect of renewed Cold War hostilities?

I have seen Top Gun numerous times, its one of my favorites, and I saw those bad boys making obscene gestures to other fighter pilots…while flying upside down, no less!

Since the Iron Curtain lifted in 1990, an entire generation has missed out on the Cold War daily horror…may we say terror…heaped upon the American public.   I have written elsewhere about this era of watching anxiously for the world to explode.  https://mumbletymuse.com/2015/03/21/the-decade-194…my-life-part-3/      this post is written pertaining to my experiences as a child living in the shadow of Nuclear Bombs.

Two, the news is presenting shocking reports that hackers have invaded the files of the heads of the CIA and Homeland Security!   WHAT? is no one’s email or private secret records sacred? Furthermore, the alleged hacker has SPOKEN to CNN.  Good grief…  One would think that the secret service agencies could locate the hacker…maybe even recruit him to work for us.  Don’t they watch cable news?.

And Three… DRONES.   CNN reported that there are now a MILLION drones in use by the private sector.  Flying around in air traffic lanes, scaring military pilots who are minding their own business…and they have managed to approach critical facilities like…almost…the White House!    And—there is no regulation or registration, or anything.   Just go in, pick out yer drone, and send its on its merry way doing gosh-knows-what.  Law enforcement agenices like the police have been able to apprehend drones which have crashed or otherwise fallen into official hands–but they just have the DRONES, which remain anonymous.  If ya ask me, anything that resembles an electronic mosquito should be closely monitored by the Feds.

So that was it for the six o’clock news.   Rather amazing, I think.