Spring in the desert is invigorating. A flood of flowers push up through rocks and sand to
provide a pink, red, purple, yellow, white and blue mosaic. Critters by the thousands wake-up, get-up, and show-up or fly-in along migration routes. Every living thing from birds to snakes dons new beautiful coats to commemorate the occasion. The random noises of mating calls adds to the sights and smells of spring to fill the rest of the available space.
We, too, are participating in that time-honored spring ritual of moving. Thinking and writing have been a challenge stuck in
among the packing and myriad decisions of the ‘move-the-household’ landscape. Oh how I long for those government contracting days when moving meant setting up an appointment with the movers and walking away. Instead the backbreaking labor of the move is all ours. Now the POD is off to storage, the packing semi-completed, and the immediate decisions made (we will not be following the wildflowers up the Rockies as I hoped).
The spouse went to Florida to identify and secure a new base of operations, the boys are visiting friends and blowing off steam in Biosphere 2, Tucson’s Botanical Gardens, and various museums, and the cat is dreaming cat-dreams buried in a basket full of folded, clean laundry. Now there is a respite; a time to reflect and think. During these times I always return to the same question. Why do I write this blog? A friend, Bill Casey who with his partner developed ELG, a premier leadership academy, originally asked me the question. When I responded, he said, “No, why do you really do it?”
The question haunts me and I am struggling to write. There is no shortage of topics. The problem is the reverse; too many topics and all deserve attention. Having made a dodgy mess of my mind with ‘the question’, the dogs and I took a walk through the ancient remnants of an Hohokam village that adjoins our property. The dogs wanted to romp and I hoped for inspiration from the ghosts of the mounds. We each received our desired gifts.
As we bounded or strolled, depending upon the species, I spotted a blue/green rounded glass something probably exposed by the last winter rain. Curious, I pulled up the nearest
mound and sat down, grabbed a stick and slowly exposed the gift we’d been given. It took some doing because the glass bottle was about eight inched long and entombed at an angle. In the end an embossed Coca-Cola bottle probably left by some cowboy working the range during the 1930s presented itself. The ghosts in the mounds had worked their magic as I realized The Gods Must Be Crazy and I was going to have to throw that legacy bottle off the edge of the earth.
Jon Rosen recently wrote, “The rate at which we are abandoning literacy is astounding. Just remember, when confronted with the question “Who is Heinrich Himmler?” and given four multiple choices, almost 40% of college freshmen answered “The inventor of the Heimlich
maneuver.” Rosen said it well. I also believe that a percentage of these poor folks will wake up and want to know the truth someday. When they do, the words and deeds of the Cold War from the mouth of its warriors need to be available. It is why I write, Bill Casey.
I write and I ask others to write because the Cold War’s legacy is the country we live in today. The Cold War warriors I know and knew believed we were fighting the good fight for a country grounded in a value system that included: individualism; sanctity of property; limited government; and so on. We did our best against the ‘Soviet Communist Bad Guys’. Most of us were not cleared to know the big bamboozle; the Cold War legacy is that the U.S. is becoming ‘them’ through ignorance.
I write and I ask others who walked the walk and talked the talk to write because one day these stories may help the country and values we believe in reignite and grow into James C.
Bennett’s and Michael Lotus’s vision of America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. There wasn’t one of my colleagues, as far as I know, who did not know our country was not perfect. We, I, also knew that it was the only country where we could do what we did of our own free will and still express our political opinions and preferences freely as long as it did not involve the armed overthrow of the government. When we were vetted for our clearances, the investigators looked at human frailties that could be exploited, not the political party we voted for during the last election. Today in the U.S. speaking against the prevailing political agenda can result in sanctions ranging from labeling to prison.
The early Cold War warriors are almost gone now. The men and women of the late 1940s and early 1950s have all but disappeared, with only their writings as testimony. Those who fought in Vietnam during the early days are leaving us quickly. Admiral Jeremiah Denton just died a few days ago. He was a hero, a prisoner of war who “declared his loyalty to the U.S. government during a 1966 interview for what was supposed to be a (North Vietnamese) propaganda film. But his enraged captors missed his more covert message: “T-O-R-T-U-R-E,” blinked into the camera in Morse code, a dispatch that would alert the U.S. military to the conditions he endured.” He suffered seven years for this country and its values. In life, his legacy was his actions and in death is now the words in his book, When Hell Was in Session. With our loss of literacy and history, which college freshman or young service person even knows Morse Code? Yet, Morse Code has been used over and over during tough times in prisoner of war camps as a mechanism for communication.
As I move on, energized by spring, I hope the question of ‘why’ is finally laid to rest-I write because I must. I am working on a wonderful piece of history that keeps repeating itself-Readiness and ICBMs.
This country and its “Anglosphere” values were and are worth fighting for. By the way, did you know that “Anglosphere” is a made up word? “The word “Anglosphere” first appeared in a science fiction novel in the 1990s, but quickly took on its present sense because it described something for which a word was needed: the community of English-speaking peoples.” No one needed permission from some aloof group of intellectuals to add the word to the language as is required by Russian, French, German, Italian, and Spanish language word additions. The word just hatched and was adopted. Adding words to one’s lexicon without permission is yet one more reason to love the “Anglosphere” value system.
 Associated Press; March 28, 2014; PHILLIP RAWLS; Jeremiah Denton, Vietnam POW and ex-senator, dies; http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/25100872/jeremiah-denton-vietnam-pow-and-ex-senator-dies
 The Telegraph; March 2, 2014; Daniel Hannan; The Anglosphere is alive and well, but I wonder whether it needs a better name; http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100261784/the-anglosphere-is-alive-and-well-but-i-wonder-whether-it-needs-a-better-name/