The skies are clear and the 3/4 moon is swing across the skies right over the top of the 3 mountain peaks to my east, I call them the 3- sisters. The share a glacier that is rapidly vanishing, along with so many others in Alaska as the land is gradually warming up over the decades. We have Exit Glacier just northwest of Seward and its a big tourist stop, about 8 miles of the Seward Highway. A person can walk up pretty close to it and when I first arrived in Seward back in 1984, you could walk up to it and touch it. But, then a series of accidents occurred as the glacier calved and people were hurt. Here, the National Park Service has set up sign posts showing how far back the glacier has rescinded in the past 100 years and it is amazing. Exit Glacier is part of the Harding Ice Field, which is massive, but probably within the next 100 years the Exit Glacier will cease to exist. The Glacier on Mount Alice, located across the bay from the City of Seward is also noticeably vanishing. Alaska is simply warming up. Fairbanks is a good example of that, you no longer see the 60 to 80 degrees below zero up there anymore, rarely a minus 40. We haven't seen a minus 30 here in Moose Pass for several years. Today its just below zero and the house is a bit chilly until we can get a fire going in the wood stove. It all makes me wonder what I'll see in 20 years from now, will we still have snow? I recall see photos of the heavy snow Oregon and Washington used to have received back in the early 1900s, but when is the last time Seattle received a foot of snow, or Portland...not counting Mt. Hood or the other high mountains...just the flatland's.
I was thinking back to Mona and my first Christmas together in 1981, we were living in base housing and I wanted a real Christmas tree that year. We were working long shifts and she wanted to hit the sack, but I was determined. So, at minus 40 below, I was out stomping in the deep snow out behind Eielson Air Force Base looking for the perfect tree. My determination is what probably kept me from freezing my rear end off. Sadly, bringing in a harvested tree into a heated house rapidly causes them to lose all their spruce needles. We did have a minor mess to clean up after Christmas was over for the trees just don't last long, even with the base soaking in water. The winter before that I learned how mistakes can be costly, having suffered 3rd degree frostbite on both my hands. The Air Force doc was great, telling me I had a 50% chance of losing both of them. But, miracles occur and a new medical jell showed up at the base and I was one of the first ones to be treated with it over a long 24-hour period. Thanks to some dedicated nurses and this jell, I kept my hands, though the arthritis is a constant reminder of my folly in not respecting the cold as much as I should have. The base lost three GI's that winter for making stupid mistakes in minus 40 to minus 60 degree temperatures. A friend of mine nearly lost his feet. Yes, he was somewhat inebriated when he decided to make a run to the liquor store on base, only a mile away from his place and though he remembered his parka, he decided to drive while only wearing his rubber shower shoes- yes, he went out in minus 65 degrees wearing his thongs- no socks. I imagine at his present age, he suffers some serious arthritis now. His feet swelled and turned black. not a pretty sight and oh so painful. One must respect our winters up here, or one pays for it and the costs can be high. On patrol as a police officer I have picked up a lot of slightly incapacitated individuals- drunks I sometimes found asleep or passed out in an alleyway or on the side of the road, and transported them to the hospitals or clinics for varying degrees of exposure. This is part of a patrolman's job in small town, Alaska...keeping some of the town characters alive. Yes, even at only zero degrees, you must respect the land and its long winters. So, why is the world warming up and what does that mean for us humans. Bears don't sleep as long, and the critters are out and about before their food supply is ready. Our trash used to get raided here in Moose Pass all the time until I moved our trashcans and placed them inside an old trailer, somewhat out of the bear's range to smell. Oh, I've chased them off with shotgun blasts and even thrown rocks at them when they refused to leave. But now, we haven't had a bear problem in over 5 years. I sort of miss the little fellows. No, I never had to kill one if you were wondering.
I mentioned the other morning about John Wayne's "notorious" 1971 Playboy magazine interview where he was supposedly quoted as saying " I am a white supremacist". I still have trouble with that, as he was not a stupid man and I don't believe he'd make a remark like that an lose a good share of his fan base. True, he was not the sort of man to make an idol over, but I liked him and the roles he played. I also liked his stand on what it means to be an American. Any how, I wondered if bringing up this old interview, 40 years after he died, would cause a move to come forward to take his name off the Orange County Airport, where a life-size bronze statue of the Duke stands. Yesterday I read where such a move is in the process. It saddened me to read this. I have read interviews in the past of people who were misquoted or the information provided was a out to out falsification...a lie. Why now? Now I do have to admit the Duke made a couple lemons during his acting career, but with over 200 movies to his credit, 2 or 3 lemons isn't too bad at all. Like most of Hollywood, he had marriage problems and was married 3 or 4 times and he preferred, up until his last wife, to marry Hispanic women. He said he liked his women "Fiery". He was extremely loyal to his friends, loved America and I don't believe he ever kicked a dog in his life except in a movie once or twice to shoo it away. No, he was far from being perfect, but he was a man, or his roles in the movie, that young men could look up to. But knowing what I do of the Duke, I do not believe he was a racist.
I also read yesterday about the latest activities of Billionaire George Soros, now I believe this is a man who can be as close to having the tile of anti-Christ as we've seen in the modern era. Born into the Jewish faith, he is a self-confessed atheist. He has used his influence to have a strong negative effect on the government's financial systems for Greece, Spain and Italy, and then stated he was turning his sights on the USA. Records showed he visited the White House 47 times while President Obama was in office. Now remembering he is not a U.S. Citizens he has recently donated through his Super Pac over $100 million dollars to sway the voters in four swing states. These funds are to help elect democrat hopefuls. He attempted to use his funds to have numerous liberal District Attorney candidates elected into office, but didn't do so well. This is not a good man, but unfortunately he has a lot of money to hand out and this seems to be all he needs. Greece is still struggling to come back from the Soros attack, just how much trouble can he cause here is still unknown, and why is he doing it? As far as I know he hasn't applied for citizenship, so what is his game and what did he do for Obama that brought so many visits to the White House? It does seem that most of the news people avoid doing stories on him because of the clout he has and the army of lawyers he can put on the streets or in the courtrooms. No, this man needs to be seriously watched by people who cannot be bought off.
Here's some headlines you might not have read: Kentucky's Senate passes bill protecting babies after detectable heart beat....Mississippi's House and Senate pass their own "Heartbeat" bills, banning abortion after detectable heartbeat....Utah's House passes a bill to protect the lives of babies preborn babies with Down Syndrome.... Venezuela breaks off diplomatic relations with Columbia after US aid is offered to Venezuela citizens and being funneled through Columbia....Venezuela's military using tear gas as aide trucks unload at border....Venezuela's troops open fire on protesters, killing one and wounding many more....Aide truck goes up in flames at Venezuela/Colombia's border....Venezuelan troops begin to abandon their posts and their President after violent clashes with protestors .... Israel's first lunar spacecraft launches..."Spear of the Bible, locust swarms imminent in Egypt and Saudi Arabia....Report that former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who resigned from office in shame, asked a Saudi Leader for money to fight U.S. Zionists.... Iceland to keep hunting its allotted 2,130 whales over the next 5-year period....Health Care and Insurance Industries mobilize to to kill "Medicare for All"....Microsoft employees protest $479 million deal with U.S. military....Report that 5 House Democrats took $60,000 trip to South Africa for a "Beyonce" Concert.... Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin to cost more than $1 billion a year.... CBS New reporter Lara Logan blows lid off liberal bias in media and then gets fired for it.... Iran claims infiltration of U.S. Command Center, reports they have commandeers drones.
With what is happening in Venezuela, it brings to mind what was happening in Vietnam in the early to mid 1960s. Vietnam became a hot bed for South Vietnamese, American, Russian and Chinese forces. The French suffered a major defeat there in the 1950s. Now we have the possibility that U.S. troops may be sent in, with Russia and China warning us to stay out. Could this South American country become our next Vietnam? I sure hope not. 58,000 plus American troops lost their lives in the 10-year long Vietnam War, so many more were wounded or came home with PTSD from the conflict and fell into alcohol and drug abuse. No one knows how many marriages suffered from that conflict, or the abuse of spouses and children that originated from veterans unable to deal with their problems. How many birth defects and the death of servicemen came out of "Agent Orange"? We're still involved in a 19-year war in Afghanistan, but the problem is whether or not China and Russia will stay out if we do? Russia is already using the country's air bases as a stopover for their Air Force bombers and if China is behaving as they did in Vietnam, they already have advisors in Venezuela...maybe Russian too. This is a worrisome thing and the possibility of losing more American troops to a so-called "police action" is high. This is where the United Nations, should or at least the old United Nations, would've stepped in...but the new UN lacks the guts it seems. I'm not sure what the modern day UN even accomplishes anymore when all it takes is a single vote from with the Security Council to derail a plan. We vote against China or Russia and either of them vote against us and not a lot gets done. Besides, on a minor scale, so many of those UN dignitaries still have not paid their New York City parking fines that now goes into millions of dollars owed, from so many years of ignoring them. You and I sure couldn't get away with that.
Well, that's it for today. I've said my piece and if you stuck it out, I thank you. Today I work on my last chapter for the story, "A Political Action", then I send it to Susan for her editing. You might see it sometime next year with the several books also in need of edit. One might say I am a prolific writer, or whatever that means.
I wish you all a wonderful Sunday and may the Lord bless your days ahead. BILL