Feeds:
Posts
Comments

As I type this, I wonder if WordPress is one of the dozens of online services that gives the United States Government full access to its clients through the Prism project. Well, regardless…

I got out of the habit of blogging to finish my last epub, ‘The Dark Djinn.’ It took a lot of focus and effort, since I did it while working two jobs and being a family man. However, it was pubbed on May 15th via Amazon.com, for Kindle readers. I always had a good feeling from Amazon. I’m glad to read that they are not participating in the NSA’s Prism project. Though, they may be lying about that.

I’m not sure what’s more disconcerting regarding the recent Big Brother revelations: The truth, or the lack of people upset about it. One thing is for sure: Edward Snowden is a hero. He’s one of at least a hundred thousand people who gave up cush-ass, guaranteed government job because he didn’t feel there was any payoff worth selling out his morals. Our worthless representatives like Feinstein and Boehner have recently called him a traitor. They are the traitors.

How are we going to react to the current scandal that shows no sign of retreating. The fact that all of our electronic communications are monitored and stored for use against us. Oh, jumping the gun, are we? Well, didn’t it seem odd that when the current administration needed to wash its hands of Petreaus, that they just happened to have come across a few emails on his Gmail account that showed he was having an affair? They never explained exactly how they found that out…But, yes, just as the Stasi in the good ‘ol DDR used constant surveillance to keep its citizens in line, this country, too, is doing – and will do – the same thing. Why? There is absolutely no reason not to, and nothing but incentive to do so. So, they will do it. If they can get away with it. Oh, but isn’t this ‘Murica? No, it’s not. The greatest threat to the thing that calls itself ‘Murica today is its own citizens.

So, what should ‘Muricans, those poor, deluded fools who still believe that their gubmint, if not their country, stands for freedom, do? There’s no place to run. There’s no place to hide. There’s an entire doomer prep industry out there, designed to make every individual ‘Murican feel like he can protect his family from the gubmint intruders, starving looters, zombie plague, etc. But the doomers who think every home is a fortress are idiots. Their preps just allay their fears. Without a community, without a social network (in real life, not Facebook), people have no resistance whatsoever against a common enemy. The only answer is that ‘Muricans must band together in communities. If they can’t turn off the TV, get to know their neighbors, start relying on the integrity of their neighborhoods, then they are all individuals waiting to be dispatched at will by the state. The state won’t even have to send a squad of black helicopters to their house with fast-roping thugs landing on their garden. The state will just call up their enemy’s employer, and say that he visits child pornography websites. Or racist websites. It doesn’t matter if those things aren’t true – if the state has backdoor access to his online ID, they can simply make it look like he did. Then that enemy of the state loses his job, and job prospects. So he loses his house. And his preps. And his guns and ammo. Maybe his family and friends, as well. Meanwhile, his neighbors, who only know him by sight – when he’s mowing his lawn – don’t even know anything happened.

But, if he was part of a community that had employers, who stuck by their own instead of what the state said, who had means of helping their fellow community members out through good times and bad, then, a man doesn’t need the state’s approval to survive. The state has to use harder tactics to get him – and others – to cooperate.

This is why traditionalists have to fight the state’s dictatorial powers, such as the surveillance scandals, while also taking flight – to their own communities. America today is little more than a prison system of 330 individual inmates, all dependent on the system to survive. It’s time for that to change. And it will change. Not with shots fired, as in some doomer’s stupid fantasy, but with fences opened between neighbors, and cohesive communities forming as a bulwark against the uber-bullies.

Advertisements

Two Girls

EastvsWest

So Happy

so happy

socks

A couple months back, I reminisced about how the Marine Corps smells. Well, today, I came across something else that I owe to the Corps: My feet still smell like the Philippines.

You see, a long time ago, in the Marine Corps…

Our ship sailed up to this island in the Philippines, called Panay. We got off the ship and started hiking around in the jungle. It was so hot and humid that sweat poured off the rim of my cover (hat) not in drips, but in a steady stream, like the inaudible trickle of water no thicker than a shoelace that comes out of the tap just before you close it off. The sweat soaked my uniform until it felt like I’d just crawled out of a river. The sweat permeated my jungle boots until, when I stepped, moisture pushed through the seams, or the little brass grates on the insole. It even soaked my backpack, and into my poncho liner inside my backpack.

Anyway, we each only had a few pairs of socks. After three days, I had to recycle them. Even though I left them out at night, draped across the tops of my boots, they didn’t get dry. This might have had something to do with the constant rain at night, along with the damp cold, or taking our nature strolls through underbrush still wet from the previous night’s rain, or the fording of rivers while on maneuevers during the day. In case you weren’t aware of this, Marines don’t take off their boots to ford rivers. Or their socks.

You know, when you look at someone, you’re really looking at their hair, eyes, and, most importantly, skin. And, this is particularly hard to believe when your looking at someone attactive, like Gisselle, or Tom Brady, or your one-year-old, but that person’s skin is actually host to millions of bacteria microbes, most of which have been living there for years. Some skin bacteria like to live on your eyelids, or your nose, or your hands. But, most bacteria like to live in moist, dark places, like your mouth, your armpits, your crotch, and your feet. And, the bacteria that give rise to body odor can come from anywhere, and land on a random part of your body. If that part of your body suits them, they will thrive. And smell.

When I say that my feet still smell like the Philippines, I don’t mean that the Philippines is in itself a smelly place. Well, actually, that’s not true. There were parts of Manila that made me want to vomit from smell alone. But, the jungle in Panay smelled like a jungle. Nothing in the jungle itself smelled say, as bad as my feet do today if I wear the same socks for two days. And, my feet don’t actually smell bad at all. As long as I wash them every day, dry them out completely aterward, and never, ever ever, ever – please,never, wear the same socks twice without washing them in between wearings. Because if I do…

In relation to the annals of military history concerning feet, my feet didn’t take any abuse whatsoever during their service in the jungle of Panay. We were only there a week. I didn’t step in a punji trap. I didn’t trip a toe-popper. I didn’t get trench foot, immersion foot – heck, I didn’t even get blisters, or footsore. I didn’t even get athlete’s foot, or plantar’s warts – I got those from the ship’s showers, even though I wore my frigging flip-flops to prevent those things. But still, after our playtime in Panay, my feet were never the same.

After a week in the jungle, I – and my comrades – weren’t even aware of how filthy we were, until we got to the beach, for return to the ship by CH-46 helicopters.We had to wait a long time on the beach for our helicopters, because the CH-46 was an antiquated piece of crap that spent most of its time being repaired. For the first time in a week, we were exposed to the tropical sun, and in stark contrast to the jungle, the beach sands had zero humidity. While we all had three pairs of socks, we had only one pair of cammies. And, our cammies instantly dried out, and the fabric turned white and stiff from grime and body salts. My collar actually cut my neck. Our uniforms made crackling sounds when we moved the fabric. It felt like we were dressed in cardboard.

We recognized how dirty our clothes were, but we didn’t recognize how much we stank, because our stink was the only thing we smelled. But, the sailors who tried to pass us in the ship recoiled away from us. The Marines in berthing who hadn’t gone ashore kindly remarked that we smelled like shit.

I shoved my crusty cammies and my three pairs of socks into a laundry bag, showered (with my flip-flops on), came back, and put on a fresh set of laundered cammies. They were broken in, and felt like clean pajamas. Then, I smelled my laundry bag, hanging from the corner of my rack.

The stench radiated from the nylon mesh bag, knocking me back. I transferred the whole laundry bag to a willy pete bag, which was basically a waterproof rubber sack. I sealed the top, and, forgot about it. Big mistake, because I missed the call for the ship’s laundry. The toxic clothing had to wait until we got to Cebu, where we were given liberty. I took the laundry out to the city, and found a launderer. I think it cost three bucks to do the laundry, but I gave her ten, out of guilt, for putting up with that nightmare.

Regardless, after I got my clothes back from the launderer in Cebu, I still put them through the ship’s wash. Then, a week later, I put on my socks from the jungle. These socks were olive-drab, cushioned on the bottom, and when you got them, they’d have printing on them that said in white ink: “50% cotton, 50% wool.” When new, they’d reach up past your calf and stay there. When broken in, which only took a couple wearings, they’d sag down to the top of your boot. Anyway, I put them on, and we had a hot, sweaty, tiring day in uniform. My feet felt gamey and wet in their socks, and I was glad to kick off my boots at the end of the day.

Then, the smell hit me. It was the same nastiness that came crawling out of that willy pete bag, a mix of old gym socks and fermented zombie puss…

I guess, lying there on the tops of my boots, exposed to the jungle air and all the dust and yeast and bacteria and stuff flying around in it, my socks must have picked up a strain of microbe that, despite flourishing for thousands or millions of years in the jungles of the Pacific islands, never knew that its perfect environment happened to be on the melanin-deprived skin cells of the feet of a human being evolved in the environment of Northern Europe. And, when this microbe found itself in its version of paradise, it could only rejoice by being fruitful, multiplying, and producing what, to its version of a nose, must be a great odor, but to the nose of its host species, was a nightmare.

The socks were ruined. Even laundered three times they still had the odor. I tossed them. But, the damage was already done. My feet were the new home of this smell. I quickly found that any lapse in foot hygiene would not only ruin socks, but sneakers and boots, too. Once those microbes found a new home in the fabric of my footwear, they were there for good. No matter how many times the shoes were washed, bleached, sun-bleached, microwaved, or frozen, they would always come back whenever the temperature and humidity level recreate their utopic environment. It really makes me wonder, What in Heaven’s name landed on my socks in the jungle – a non-virulent form of Anthrax?

I was forced to up my game, and take my foot hygiene, sock wearing, and footwear usage into a pattern that resembles an obsessive-compulsive disorder, all to prevent a recurrence of The Odor.

Flash-forward to today. I can go years without being bothered by it, because I am vigilant. But, then, victory will weaken me. I will do something like I did this morning. It’s cold out, and I only have a few pairs of wool socks that are really primo – nice, new, and thick. And, this one pair, I wore yesterday. But, I was in the office all day, and I don’t sweat much in the winter…

So, I wear them again. But then, by about ten in the morning, as I swing one leg up to rest it over the other, the breeze made by my leg kicks that scent up to my nose. It’s not The Odor, not a stench anyone uninitiated to its legacy would recognize, but for me, it’s a reminder:

Despite 19 years, tens of thousands of washings, daily sock changes, anti-bacterial creams, summers spent only in sandals, wearing different shoes every day, and two decades worth of new socks and footwear…

My feet still smell like the friggin’ Philippines.

###
Kaiheitai’s epic war novel: Mark of the Legion

'Mark of the Legion' - available on Kindle.

‘Mark of the Legion’ – available on Kindle.

If you recognize that phrase, you’re probably familiar with the consipracies concerning how many shooters were used to take out JFK in Dealey Plaza.

It’s from the court case underpinning the 1992 Oliver Stone movie ‘JFK,’ and it’s referring to the fact that in the Zapruder film that documents the president’s shooting, his body jerks back, and to the left, and this motion supposedly proves that JFK was shot from the front right, since a bullet to the head from that direction would make his body go back, and to the left.

The problem with this assertation is that the same film showing him going back, and to the left, shows the front of his skull opening up at the moment of the strike:

zapruder-313

The front of his head would only open up if struck from behind.

As for the bullet imparting its force on the President’s body, to make it jerk back and to the left, it wouldn’t. The bullet is traveling so fast that its passing through human skull and brain matter is almost inconsequential, it loses almost none of its kinetic energy in this act, but makes a lot of mist.

The reason the President jerked back and to the left was because of the instant seizure caused by massive brain injury.

The shooter was behind the President, and it was Oswald.

##

My first Kindle Novel: Mark of the Legion.

'Mark of the Legion' - available on Kindle.

‘Mark of the Legion’ – available on Kindle.

snow

Hiss: In a bad Nor’easter, when cold air and warm southern moisture mix above you, sometimes the snow comes down as hard, granular balls, it makes a ceaseless hiss, like pieces of copier paper being rubbed together.

Whisper: If the snow is light and fluffy, like down feathers, you can stand in the woods and listen to the whisper of millions of flakes settling to the ground, a whisper you have to hold your breath to hear.

Salt pour: When the snow stands in drifts of powder, the whipping wind left after the passing of the clouds makes the snow drift. And when the wind blows snow off the peak of a drift, the airborne snow makes a sound like salt pouring around inside a shaker when you tip it.

Kiss: When the snowflakes are fat and heavy – you especially see this in a March storm – they make a wet kiss when they land. When you stand silently in the woods, it sounds almost like it’s raining. And if you turn your fac to the sky, and one of the quarter-size drops hits your face, you’ll hear, and feel, the wet kiss of winter.

Thump: The sound when snow slides off tree branches, and plops to the ground with a hearty thump.

Rumble: When snow slides off a steel roof in one huge avalanche, it hits the ground with a house-shaking rumble.

Rasp: This is the sound of snow falling through dried-out, brown oak leaves still clinging to branches.

Sigh: The sound of a car traveling past your house, the sound of its tires muffled by the snow-packed road.

Plop-Hiss: When a snowball hits the polypropelyne shell of your winter jack, and then slides off.

Slurp: The sound of tires rolling through piles of slushy snow on the road.

Absolute silence: The lack of sound you hear, so profound that you hear your own heartbeat, when you’re deep in a snow cave or snow fort.

The quiet of the Storm: The rare, muffled silence you hear in a thick, heavy snowfall – even in a city – because the swirl of a billion snowflakes drowns the sounds of civilization.

##

My Kindle book, Mark of the Legion:

'Mark of the Legion' - available on Kindle.

‘Mark of the Legion’ – available on Kindle.

Corporal Rod

corporal chevron

Corporal Rodriguez was a Marine I knew when I lived in the Henderson Hall Barracks, adjacent Arlington National Cemetary.

Every coal-black hair on his head was trimmed in a perfect part, no longer than three inches on the bangs. His face was as hard and evenly balanced as a throwing axe. His black eyes leveled on you like the iron sites of a rifle. His smile was as broad and white as a field of freshly fallen snow. Rod was made of muscle fiber and perfect teeth, like beef jerky and Chicklets.

Corporal Rod slept in his uniform and his shoes – his ‘charlie’ uniform, which in the Marine Corps, is a khaki blouse, olive-drab trousers, and leather (or faux-leather plastic) shoes.

Whenever I went to his room in the early morning to get his roommate, who I was friends with, to go PT, Rod would lying on top of his perfectly-made rack. He slept on his back, supine, arms and legs spread slightly so as not to fold his clothing.

Sleeping was almost the only time I saw Rod. He had to go to sleep prepared to get up immediately, because Rod only slept three hours a night – maximum. The other 21 hours of the day, minus whatever time he spent at the office where he worked, in the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, were spent with, on average, eight to twelve beautiful women, none of whom had any idea any one of the others existed in his life.

He was also a dancer at a male review. My friend, his roommate, went there one night with Rod. He said the sea of females screaming for him and the other dancers was the most frightening thing he’d ever seen.

Corporal Rodriguez was a busy man.

Only once or twice did we see his girlfriends at the barracks. The women he dated were so intensely beautiful that they walked through life with the kind of look on their faces that told you they really couldn’t believe how good they had it. These were girls so frighteningly attractive that they’d knock you speechless. Every single Marine in the barracks would stop and stare at these girls, sometimes with their jaws open. The only person not looking at them would be Rod. But when he did, they’re expressions would gain focus, as if they were grounded more to him than they were the Earth itself.

This was back in the mid-90’s. No one had a cell phone yet. So, whenever I was at my friend’s room, where Rod inevitably wasn’t, the phone would ring, and the answering machine would pick up. Nineteen times out of twenty, it was a call for Rod from a girl, asking where he was, asking why he wasn’t picking up, asking when they would meet…

One day, my friend and I were playing a video game, and the phone was going off non-stop. Then, we heard one message that stood out:

“Rod, if you don’t call me, daddy says he’s not giving you that Viper.”

My friend and I looked at each other. Could she really be talking about a Dodge Viper, a $50,000 sports car?

Not ten minutes later, Rod came in through the door. It was about midnight – he was knocking off early. We immediately asked him what the story was with that call.

He laughed as he sat on his rack and kicked off his shoes. “Oh, that bitch? He dad owns a dealership and wanted to give me a car, or something. But, &%#$ her.”

He fell back on the rack, and fell unconscious.

##

Kaiheitai’s epic war novel: Mark of the Legion