Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Monuments Men

Most of my regular radio show followers already know the HISTORY of the Old Place.  How my grandfather bought the land back around the turn of the twentieth century and built a retreat for himself and his new bride. While the Old Place is just a small cabin, it is also a MONUMENT, if you will, to a time of beauty and grace long gone.  It stands peacefully on the banks of a forgotten lake. On cool mornings rabbit smoke drifts up out of the burrows and wraps the Old Place in a quiet blanket of memories. So Col. Jim, what’s it got to do with safety? It is more about the battle for safety through the years.  As a youngster, I never appreciated history.  Oh sure, Sister Clair-Jermain gave it the ole Catholic school try and I memorized the dates and the events. Later, when I became a Safety Professional the true value of history came alive. Folks, History Saves Lives!  History is full of valuable information, but modern history is also full of really creative B.S. Now come on Col. Jim, nobody is going to lie about history. . . are they? So, who gets to pick what actually happened and what some group wants you to think happened?  Apparently not HISTORIANS and definitely not Safety Professionals. Every one of these selfish attempts to change history failed miserably:

Some B.S. History: Atlantis, Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, Big Foot, Lock Ness Monster.
Result: People become obsessed with finding them, spend billions searching, create cults, write countless books, and make dozen movies but find nothing.

History: Egyptian Pharaoh enslaves Jews.  His wife rescues an infant Jew from the river.  Pharaoh adopts him as a son giving him power and position.
Tried to Change History: Becomes disillusioned with step son’s ideas and disowns him and kicks him out, removes his name from documents and monuments.
Result: Step son returns, Egypt brought to its knees by a Jewish goat herder.

History: Romans remake the world in their image; rape, torture, enslave and kill thousands, engage in human trafficking, build great cities.
Tried to Change History: Assassinated Jesus, made first attempt to eradicate Jews and upstart Christians.
Result: Jesus rises from the dead, Christians take over Rome without firing a shot. Roman Empire collapses, Jews carve out their own country, Rome in ruins.

History: Nazis attempt to remake the world in their image; burn books and records, destroy art and monuments, rape, torture, enslave and kill thousands. 
Tried to Change History: Made second attempt to slaughter Jews out of existence.
Result: The world gangs up on the Nazis, whips them fair and square. Nazis are branded as thugs and murderers and become the most hated and vilified group in history. Jews build a country dedicated to life and welcoming of all.

Tried to Change History: Japanese attempt to remake the world in their image; burn books, destroy art and monuments, rape, torture, enslave and kill thousands.
Result: USA obliterates two Japanese cities with nuclear bombs and ends Japanese aggression. Japan finds nonviolent way to take over Hawaii and half of California.

History: Radical Islamic Fundamentalists attempt to remake the world in their image; burn books, destroy art and monuments, rape, torture, enslave and kill thousands, engage in human trafficking of Christian girls.
Tried to Change History: Spend billions in a third attempt to eradicate existence of Jews, the Holocaust and Christians, try to assassinate the Pope.
Result: Their own special prison, just for them.  Followers of the Prophet the world over are mistrusted, suspected, profiled and laughed at. Oh yeah, Pope recovers, hugs the assassin, tells him that he loves him and then forgives him.

History: Using spears and knives, powerful native African tribes capture, rape, slaughter and cannibalize weaker tribes and sell the remainder into slavery.
Tried to Change History:  European powers (Not American) invade Africa, capture, rape, slaughter and enslave weaker tribes. Steal natural resources.
Result: Russians give powerful native African tribes guns. They still capture, rape, slaughter and cannibalize weaker tribes and sell the remainder into slavery only now their citizens starve to death and die of horrible diseases. Americans are trying to stop this and free the slaves.

So you want to tear down statues of Non-Blacks, who were defeated by Non-Blacks, who destroyed slavery and made Black Americans free? I can see why you would want to pretend that never happened, no one appreciates a benefactor. I certainly hope you are doing so out of blind hatred or revenge against, who?  (Or to get elected governor one day).  Because if you are doing it because you think it will change history. . .   Well, review the list above.

Sitting in a rocker at the Old Place, I am, Col. Jim.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Looking Back

Up here at the Old Place we appreciate the way things were.  Oh we have our concessions to modernity: land-line telephones, nice stereos, weather radios, and hey a couple of us even have those new-fangled non-polluting electric outboard motors.  Generally speaking though we like things the way they were.  Not that we are living in the past mind you, but we do indulge ourselves in a little looking back.  In fact, it is not only important to look back, but knowing just how to look back can sometimes make the difference between life and death.

Most of our mornings start off pretty much the same: after a good breakfast and a cup of that great River Roads coffee, we climb into our vehicle, back out the carport and head off to work.  If however your teenaged driver took the car out over the weekend, chances are the mirrors are no longer adjusted to your liking.  Now wait a second, just how should mirrors be set?  Hmm.  Most drivers have them set so that they can see the sides of the car but is this the best angle for safety?  Maybe for backing up but not for driving forward.  Have you ever attempted to “slowly and safely” change lanes only to be rewarded with the shrill blast of a horn from another driver riding blissfully in your blind spot or worse by an expensive crunching sound?  So what is best for safety?  First off remember, the inside rearview mirror is used to keep an eye on what is coming up from behind, while the outside mirrors reflect the area outside the view of the inside rearview mirror.

Now, adjust the mirrors outward until the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps that of the inside rearview mirror.  When correctly positioned, the mirrors can eliminate your vehicle’s blind spots. As a bonus, you will no longer need to look over your shoulder in order to change lanes safely.

As a final note, many new cars come equipped with something called, Blind Side Information Systems (BLISS).  This is a radar based system that “watches” out the side and warns the driver when another vehicle has come up on the side.  The challenge is, not all cars have this system and then what happens when it fails?  Learning how to set up your rearview mirrors will one day prevent a crash and could just keep you alive.

Sitting in a rocker at the Old Place I am, Col. Jim.