A week from today…

…the polls will be closing across the United States and we’ll be deciding what fork in the road this country is deciding to take.

It has been a nasty season.

General-in-chief Trump has now ordered troops to the Mexican border to “protect” us from a few thousand mostly women and children, some of whom may reach the border area perhaps a month from now.

A few weeks ago, Oct. 3, when they were testing the telephone Emergency Alert warning system – I was in a restaurant when all the phones in the restaurant went off simultaneously – I was wondering what the first crisis under the latest version of this system would be.

Well, this is it.  The phones weren’t necessary because General Trump has been threatening it on his campaign stops which are amply covered by the media.

As Trump likes to say, “very sad”.  Huge amount of national resources, financial and otherwise, wasted on a fake crisis.


Back on October 22, 1962 – it was a Monday – I was an Army Private at Ft. Carson CO, and President Kennedy was addressing the nation.  I was 21.  It was a crucial point in the Cuban Missile Crisis.  We watched the President on Mess Sergeants Stubbs 9″ black and white TV.  It is one of those memories which has never left me.

Thirteen days in October, 1962, was a time of real danger.

The photo (above) and Cuba002 is what we read in our barracks the following day.  We were stationed just a few miles from a major target of those missiles, the NORAD facility on Cheyenne Mountain – a mountain we saw most every day.

The day we heard President Kennedy speak was the end of the 7th day of the crisis.  The crisis ended Sunday October 22.  We never had to leave our base, though we were prepared to do so.

We had experienced a legitimate crisis.


Now we’re engaged in a fake crisis with an immense public cost in money and national reputation – all to buy votes based on fear and hatred.

The man with the microphone threatens to attempt to amend the Constitution on his own, declaring children born on our soil to non-citizens to be unwelcome here.  It is not the childs fault to have been born here, and, of course, the child is defenseless.

We are a nation of immigrants.  There likely have been millions of first children of immigrants who were not citizens here when their child was born.

Everyone of my family ancestors came from elsewhere to North America.  That is the story for most of us.

Next week is a referendum on our values as a nation.

Don’t waste your opportunity to cast a ballot for your and our future as a nation, and the future of everyone who comes after us.

Ft. Carson Colorado 1962, my barracks a couple of blocks from this end of the base; Cheyenne Mountain and Pike’s Peak area in background.

POSTNOTE:  Squirrel Hill, overnight.

POSTNOTE TWO: Back in October, 1962, I had only recently turned 22 and was a little older than many of my colleague GIs.  We knew nothing about the Cuban Missile Crisis until President Kennedy went on television.  Before that, the efforts to deescalate had all been diplomatic.  The rest of the week was a little busier than usual in our companies, but not all that much.  We never went anywhere.

My fellow citizens from that era are all in their 70s or older now.  It seems that it is our generation that is most prone to fear and resentment of immigrants…for no good reason at all.

POSTNOTE THREE Nov, 2, 2018: Bad Always Getting Worse, Just Above Sunset, overnight.


2 replies
  1. Curtis Ghylin
    Curtis Ghylin says:

    I was in the USAF and stationed at Barksdale AFB, La. when I was discharged in September, 1961. Even then there was talk that those of us who were scheduled to be discharged after 4 years of service might be “extended” because of what was happening in Cuba. The crisis, of course, came later. Now as an 80 year old white guy from Wing, North Dakota, I wonder what it will take for the Grand Old Party to become a party that is interested in governing our country rather than following a TV personalty. Very sad, indeed. Yesterday on MPR, Senator Durenburger was on talking about the book he and Lori Sturdevant of the Trib have written. The Senator said it take many years to “get over” the Trump effect. It is sad to think that nearly 40% of Americans believe what Trump tells them. And sad to say, I think a large share of the folks in North Dakota are right there with Trump.


    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Thanks, Curt. My ND roots go back to 1878, and for several years I’ve been completing an archival project on my other ND farm family, the Busch’s, who came west in 1905. The ancestors earned their stripes by often very hard life experience; today’s generation has had it too easy and they’ll probably learn a harsh lesson when it’s a bit too late to recover. I’m Democrat, but always describe myself as a “Dwight Eisenhower” kind of Dem, and my personal hero and mentor was a progressive Republican Governor of Minnesota, and I had huge respect for Sen. Durenberger as well. Just when I think we’ve gone as low as we can go, we go down another step. Thank you for joining the conversation. Dick


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