I lived on several farms, here I am earth moving in the garden. I remember fresh milk from the cow, still warm with cream floating on top ( Yuk!). I recall Grandpa giving me a willow branch to usher the cow to the barn….”am I hitting to hard? I don’t wanna hurt her.” The cow knew the way on the well worn path. I recall excitement to get to help shovel maneur, LOL. Then there was the fancy new outhouse Grandpa built with a special little hole just for me. I tried it once and made him sand it so I would not get splinters in my butt. I recall the whole family going over the fence to pick green beans from the field for supper. Before me and Illinois, the family (Mom’s side) lived in the backwoods of Arkansas. They are mentioned in the 1956 book, Journey Through the Springtime, a real positive read if you can find it.
The farm ( top right ) I recall Aunt Maggie hitting the little dog with a Model T Ford. The small farm is now a factory for chrome railings and other boat fittings. But, before that it would be my Uncle John’s farm and home of cousin Harold who will retire from a TOP SECRET USAF career and soon after be crushed in a coal mine. A stray dog bit Harold’s sister Betty. Uncle John shot it and cut it’s head off to take to the vet. Yes it was rabid and Cousin Betty had to take the shots.
The most UNIQUE FARM I lived on was in the middle of Chicago ( lower right ). Mom and I lived in an apartment behind the landlord’s big house. He was a switching engineer at the freight yards just blocks away. A spare lot on either side of the main house made up the ~3/4 acre farm. It had a full variety of crops, honey bees and a milk cow. I helped him out for free because he was a father figure and he taught me to grow things.
Here is where we moved soon after Mom’s second marriage ( refer to First Things First ). I called it a farm for it was so big. Step-Dad dropped me off and picked me up from Louis Pasteur School in Chicago for a month. I would be able to finish high school all in Hinsdale, almost getting kicked out 1 month before graduation. The house has been replaced by a million dollar mansion, but the house by the zipcode is where Vincent Price was. What with school, work and taking care of the chores and my half brothers, it was hard and I felt like a bonded servant.
In effect my High School years were like a first basic training, step-Dad was a sergeant in the Army Corp of Engineers. He built bridges for General Patton’s tanks and had many dozens of patches and medals.
My friend Bob Nieman in High School won Silver in swimming at the Mexico City Olympics, another is an attorney for the FDIC (banking) and my best friend and neighbor George retired as manager of the computer department of International Harvester. After my career collapse and subsequent stress disorder, I have been jobless longer than anybody and will never catch-up if this venture I am in flops. My last boss said he was sorry about the layoff and that I was his best worker and he saw unlimited potential in me. Yet, I was not hired and soon had the long term unemployeed stigma…”You mean you’ve been out of work a year? You could have been in jail”. This nice guy, but hypocrit wanted references I did not have because I was tired of making friends and having to move on.
My apology for jumping from subject to subject. It is part of the stress illness. Things remind me off other things making it hard to keep the story short. I left out my angry words (1979) when the Hostages were taken in Iran, the letter from the White House advising me not to go to Iran to free the Embassy Hostages, and the X-Mafia man who offered to be a reference that I had not “been in jail”.
My Norwegean friend, who lives a life I wish that I could, took this
photo of an F-22 going supersonic.
F-22 Raptor going transonic. Photo by B. Bolsoy
(passing from subsonic to supersonic…breaking the sound barrier)
Me inside a transmitter site.
This included the base commander’s transceiver and broadcasted TEST CODES to nuclear armed B-52 bombers & other routine message traffic.
Bored here, I moved 5 miles away to the receiver-control site where I had 10 minutes to fix the a test failure or notify the War Room at the Pentagon.
I would still help troubleshoot the transmitter site by phone.
Me and Melanie, a Swiss banker’s daughter at
GEEIA Squadron Officers
Clouds reflected in rice patties viewed from a C-47 over Taiwan
Some of my Honor Guard friends
My Dream Toy if I can ever afford it (the venture), and can still pass the medical.
Other than being the next President, LOL, it is one job that can make up for the pain and disgrace if 3 jobless decades.
NOTE: I have some great photos, but must transfer them from slides.
Me and the New C-5 Galaxy on it’s maiden tour.
The Douglas C-5 won out over the Boeing 747 for the Airlift Command.
The Coconut Grove Airmen’s Club.
Elvis was there just before I arrived on base, but I did pass 5 feet from Johnny Mathis in concert.
This was a big place…
multiple bars and eateries
6 chair barber shop with a manicurist.
duty-free liquour store
small combo in the rear lounge
Too bored to turn around for the camera, the GEEIA Radio Group was the most overmanned and under-utilized.
Hey, I got a job!
So I figured out a system saving 10 hours routing cables under the floor. That earned us a Team of the Month accommendation.
I also told you that I have psychic experiences. I never learned it in chemistry classes, but I just knew what to do.
A new multicoupler had one bad output. The label said “NOT SITE REPAIRABLE”, but I opened it anyway. It was full of styrofoam, but I knew that precisely hand tuned coils of fine wire were embedded in the foam. I went to the hospital and got some acetone. Sure enough acetone turned the styrofoam hot pink and melted it away from the coils. There was the broken wire. I carefully pushed it in place so as not to change the tuning and used a smallest amount of solder. It worked. Though it looked messy under the cover, nobody else would ever open it.
Polishing copper co-axial cable is no fun. My wrist was so sore that I drank a beer with both hands.
Camp O’Donnel, largest TX site outside the CONUS. Japanese held POW camp for survivors of the Death March in WWII
Yet more work to cut monotiny…
Working on Command Control Report to be sent to HQ in Hawaii.
This photo is out of place…
My first USAF class in Mississippi
If I were President, I would push for a Federal minimum age to purchase tobacco products, 21 years old. But we want to elliminate tobacco.
I was once a chain smoker. However, since quitting in 1997 I realized how repulsive smoke odor is. Even getting a whiff outside as I pass smokers standing 15 feet from the door almost knocks me down. I realize that cigarettes were a big part of the cause of my long term unemployment.
It is cruel however for those with the smoking habit / tradition. I believe the cigarette tax should be cut 25% and 75% for welfare / food stamp and senior citizens below a certain income. Each carton should have a coupon for a discount on the stop smoking patch or for smokeless eCigarettes.
Let the smokers smoke and the non-smokers remain non-smokers. It is so simple! I would start at 21, then each year increase the smoking age by 1 year until the minimum age to buy tobacco is 30. This would stop the young people from starting the habit.
By age 30, most people have work experience and other ways to overcome stress and monotany. Peer pressure is not there. It is less likely that one at 30 would be tempted to start. For those over the age limit, a smoker’s license would be given at cost. They would loose this license if they bought tobacco for an underage person. Loss of the license for 7 to 30 days would deter enough. A simple means of making sure a smoker is a smoker before issuing a license is for a witness to watch the applicant smoke 1 cigarette. Licensing non-smokers who are not afraid of a temporary loss of license would encourage a black market and crime.
Mandatory Overtime & Unemployment
The two seem to conflict, but it is basically creating a workspace and paying insurance that causes the employer to opt to pay overtime. We need to change the law to reverse this incentive.
Insurance for the Rush Hour. If an employee has an accident driving to work after working 2 or more hours overtime the day before, or after working 2 or more hours overtime and driving home and it is within one hour of worktime, then the employer should be 25% liable for damages. Also the employee should be elligible for workman’s compensation as if the accident happened on the job.
State Governors should have the power to impose a 38 hour work week. Those elligible for overtime would be paid time and a half after 38 hours. The President could impose a 38 hour week Nationwide. This would help when unemployment is +/- 5%. When the Troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the President may have to set a 36 hour week under a Share the Work program.
Let me interject that overtime is the common man’s path to the better life in this Capitalist World. It wears on his health and maybe shortens his lifespan. Overtime pay should be tax free.
Sure I would have been elligible to return to my pre-military civilian job if I had not quit, but who wants to return to a $2.10 per hour summer job. Many troops will find that they are over-qualified for their old jobs if they had one. So we will need a Roosevelt type W.P.A. program for some of the purely combat trained . Again I propose to build roads and start with the decayed bridges.
I propose to rebuild just the right lane of our Interstate Highway System which the heavy trucks beat to death. It would be built to the thickness and strength of the German Autobaun. Where practicle the limit would be raised to 75, but the gradient would not change for 200 mph driving.
It would be a 20 to 40 year project; a 20 year job with no deadline so as not to bust the National Budget or require more Foreign Debt.
The right lane would be built to last a long time, but eventually say half the workforce is replacing what was laid 20 years prior advancing it to a 30 year task. Then there is a strike, but if it is economically inflationary, only 95% are hired back to compensate for the extra cost. Being thus slowed down the project edges toward the 40 year estimated deadline.
I am all for quality union labor, especially knowing that employers often lie outright to hire you on and middle management can be incompetent or set in their ways. However I have seen too weak and too strong unions with bureaucratic rules.
The Trickle DOWN and Back UP Economy
This involves the NAFTA and Other Countries working with the US under it’s guidance. It could bring back jobs in Textile and Clothing industries and many others.
To be simple and brief let’s look at bringing the Detroit Auto industry back and choose Mexico as our partner. I will skip over the logistics of where parts are made and the transport between Mexico and Detroit.
Now suppose a Mexican with training can and will do a job for $6 per hour while the same job in Detroit pays $40. But there would be an agreed minimum wage of 25% of what the equivalent job pays in the US. The Mexican worker would get $10 per hour. We want to take advantage of the lower cost of living in Mexico, but not have slave labor wages. Why pay more than you have to? Hold on, I will get to that.
Now you build 25% of the cars in Mexico and 75% in the US (including manufacturers who have relocated from Detroit to less expensive labor forces within the USA ). You shuffle the US & Mexican cars together and sell them for 80% of the price a Detroit car would cost. Say that a $30,000 US car has a Japanese competitor priced at $35,000. With Mexican help, the US car is now reduced to $24,000. That’s an $11,000 incentive to buy American. Sales go up and the 25% of jobs lost to Mexico are replaced by 30% in both countries.
So, why pay the Mexican more?  It is an incentive to do good work and never go on strike just for more money. Even if Detroit went on strike, some cars from Mexico would trickle up north to pay executive salaries. It’s not the cheapest way to go, but rather a costs stability factor.  The Mexican’s $10 would trickle down into the economy and being in dollars eventually more American goods such as farm produce at parity prices would be purchased.  Some Mexicans could afford the Mexican cars built in American owned factories.  The average Mexican is shorter than the average American driver and some of the roads are rougher. All of the Mexican autoworkers could afford cars built by their countrymen in factories owned by Mexico. Ahah! More US jobs; engine blocks, crank and cam shafts and electronic chips, transmission gears…things requiring automatic machine tools.
Creating jobs in places like Ghana would give the unemployeed something to do besides sit in internet cafes and scam people. However, it would be a Capitalist Venture, not a US Government Aid program. So, a league of corporations would be established and members would put up the capital to fix Ghana’s internet, phone and electric distribution infrastructures.
War, Nuclear Proliferation, Terrorism
Sorry, I can’t talk about it. You all have the need to know, but in this public forum some may not have the right to know. My plans would be and may already be Classified.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased our Foreign Debt. How do we get war repairations? One, we can ask Iraq to sell a yearly quota of oil to all countries which helped in their war at say 2005 prices. It would not exceed 25% of output.
The other source of payback I can’t discuss.
How to End the Afghan War as Winners…
I have a plan, but need intelligence to know if it would work. Even if it was viable, I couldn’t tell you.
This is an example of why I need a communication link to Washington better than the www.whitehouse.gov provides.
The G.I. Bill
I do not want to change the Bill, but just add some options.
The Veteran could take a course in small business management and if he does well, go on to take just the job related courses of an Associates Degree. You can always pick up a book and teach yourself Humanities later. Or the Vet can opt for Vocational Training such as Chef School.
By minimizing education a lot of G.I. Bill money will be left over. I propose to free-up and give that extra money to the Vet to pay for his new business. At least it would be a strong start combined with a V.A. business loan.
As owner, the Veteran could earn more than a college graduate. Small businesses create most of the new jobs.