Sunday, December 10, 2017

3 Important dates...

3 dates in history...short summary of a larger paper I intend to write.

In July of 1776 A document created a rogue country.  This country was born with fire, rebellion and a search for the concept of freedom from oppression.  The wording of that document was fussed over, fretted over, edited, rewritten and scrapped several times over.  The words that were left are haunting, and should be familiar to every citizen of these United States.

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

This opening is tantamount to treason of the highest order, and the wording is strong and succinct.  It tells us that from this point in time, there is no return to the past.   And from this moment a new nation was conceived, fought for and born, as it emerged it broke the boundaries of what a nation could be and what a nation was formed from.

December 7, 1941 was a day that lives on in infamy.  The attack on Pearl Harbor wasn't just a call to war, it was a call to industrialization, to militarization and the end of the separate peace that had been tantamount to national policy.

Just days prior to December 7, there were many political factions with different ideas on how to best handle "the War in Europe" and "the War in the Pacific."  But after the attack the consequences were certainly not what the Japanese rulership expected.  The US became resolved, steeling themselves to the task of a war footing.  Production of war materiel, combat vehicles and preparation of a massive armed forces followed.    As Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy also declared war, the die was cast and the US was  left no choice but to abandon any thoughts of isolationism.

The call to war by the USA also taught American industry that war, in and of itself, is profitable.  As corporate profits throughout the country almost doubled during the years between 1941 and 1945.

The third impactful date is September 11, 2001.  This date was the date of a well orchestrated attack by a terrorist group labeled "Al Qaeda" by the US government.  The attack consisted of coordinated hijacked airliners crashing into the World Trade Center's building 1 and 2, as well as the Pentagon.  The 4th hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania, with it's intended target possibly being the White House, or the US Capitol building.

The net result in this event was the creation of a worldwide electronic surveillance state, the voluntary and systematic loss of freedoms for the American public, and of course several wars in the middle east.

At the moment, this is a working thesis and will be researched and discussed in later posts.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

So this is how it starts...An early November night, cold rain and a chill in the air.  The leaves have turned, almost painfully slow, from green to shades of yellow, gold, red, and purple in preparation for the browning of the landscape.   It's this change from life to dormancy that marks a strong contrast from the spring and summer, when nature seems pure and new, playful and lively.

I feel lucky to see the seasons.  There are so many in various parts of this world that never get the chance to see them, to understand them, to live through them.  There are people that don't know the stillness fo a snowfall, the breathlessness of a windchill, or the short daylight hours of a winter's day.  No matter how one tries to explain it, they will never understand.  They will never be of the knowing.

It is chilly nights like these, when the darkness stays long and the drizzle falls steadily, that contemplation arises.  The long nights give us reason to question ourselves, and our focus, and to think about the future and the past.  We examine our weaknesses, our strengths and our very reason for being.  We listen to old music and try to find some comfort in the familiar words...which we can only recall as the song is playing.  We remember old parties, times we spent with friends and family.  We seek comfort in our memories.

In a few short weeks, real winter will be here...and after that Spring and Summer will follow.  But until that time has passed, we need to be happy to have the experience to be cold, to be wet, to experience the snow.  Life is too short and we are too fortunate to be alive.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Flight 19 a mystery? Not so much...

The discussion of this particular missing flight actually piqued my curiosity enough to do just a tad bit of research, and once one wades through all the "woo" and can get down to some basic information, the only thing mysterious about the disappearance of Flight 19 is that it happened in an area known as the Bermuda Triangle.

First and foremost on the list one must investigate the flight commander;  Lieutenant Charles Taylor,  the flight commander on this training flight, and as ranking officer he would have had the final say in any navigational course changes.  By all reports Taylor was unorganized, very poor at navigation and had already "ditched" two airplanes due to being lost.  Given Taylor's history, it is a wonder why he was assigned a supervisory role on this mission, but overall it must have been his flying hours compared to the other pilot's hours in planes of this type.  It is even reputed that Taylor arrived late for this training evolution.

The aircraft themselves were Grumman TBM1C  Avengers.  Not quite an advanced aircraft by today's standards, but very serviceable in the day and time it flew.  Flight 19's Avengers had no clocks, which raises a red flag to me, due to the type of mission which they were flying...a mission that was meant to teach "dead reckoning" in which one of the most important factors is calculating time. Dead Reckoning (per wikipedia)" is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course."  Also from the same Wiki:  "Dead reckoning is subject to cumulative errors."  Meaning that if time is measured in a haphazard way, or variations in speed or heading are not accounted correctly, one's plotted course and one's actual position may have nothing in common.

Why is this important?  It's important due to communication that another flight received from Taylor stating that "he was sure he was in the Keys" and was attempting to find Ft. Lauderdale.  Even one of the members of Flight 19 was heard on the radio to say "Dammit, if we could just fly west we would get home; head west, dammit."  
This leads me to believe that even Taylor's subordinates did not trust his judgement, but in keeping with decorum and chain of command, they followed orders.

Even after the location of Flight 19 was triangulated and broadcast to Taylor, he refused to believe the land based radio operators and did not adjust his course as requested by them.

To me, the only mystery is where the 5 Avengers ditched, and where they are to this day.  Yes, the weather rolled in during the last hour or so of their flight, and obscured attempts to locate the wreckage, and rescue the pilots.  Had there been no weather, it's possible that all of the crews would have been found.  

While there is some room for conjecture and speculation in the matter of Flight 19, I don't think there is enough room to label it a "mystery" or to include it in the lore of the "Bermuda Triangle."  I think we have a case of a flight commander who was disorganized, a poor navigator and who refused to listen to subordinate officers who may have understood navigation principles much better than he did.  Call it pride or bravado or genuine panic, but I blame Taylor for the loss of those planes and the loss of those men.