Would You Serve Where You Were Hated?

by KevinH on November 11, 2014

One of the most complicated aspects of the U.S’s foreign policy in the ‘50s and ‘60s had to do with its uber enemy of the time – the dreaded U.S.S.R., now Russia. As it came to be known, the “Cold War” was an arms race unmatched in history. Both sides researched, drafted, rocketed, test-piloted, and developed some of the most dangerous weapons in history. As we now know, this was largely being done by both sides out of fear and not on actual reconnaissance or data collected on what the other side was doing.

 

Out of the mysterious desert of Nevada came one of the U.S.’s most effective assets of the Cold War. The U-2 spy plane was developed at the military’s top secret test facility at Area 51 and was quite the technological terror of its day. It could fly up to an altitude of 70,000 feet, that’s over 13 miles for those of you counting at home. It was so fast, and would fly so high, that test pilots would leave Area 51 heading east and would be in Kansas before they knew it. They would bank left over Nebraska and then back through Colorado and south through New Mexico before heading back to Area 51.

 

So why did it need to fly so high? Well, a couple of reasons. First, the U-2s were being sent straight to an airstrip in Pakistan that was being used by the United States to fly planes over the Soviet Union for spying. Those pesky Soviet anti-aircraft missiles could go way up in the air…but not quite 70,000 feet. Second, the Soviet prime minister at the time, Nikita Khrushchev, had this paranoid delusion that the United States was spying on his country with spy planes. Crazy! So he picked up the phone and contacted President Dwight Eisenhower and asked him, man to man, if the United States was flying spy planes over the Soviet Union. President Eisenhower, of course being one of the greatest presidents we’ve had, answered him directly…“absolutely not.”

 

That conversation was in late April 1960. Why is that date important? Well, a U-2 pilot by the name of Francis Gary Powers took off from the little Pakistan air strip a couple weeks later on May 1, 1960 and was shot down over the Soviet Union…along with his camera…and the photos he took of those Soviet things called missile silos, airfields, etc.…and his obvious Americanness…and his ultra cool spy plane that had been driving the Soviets crazy for quite some time. Oops.

 

Mr. Khrushchev was, um, shall we say, not happy.

 

So you are Francis Gary Powers. You’ve just been shot down in the absolute worst place in the world an American could be shot down, and at the absolute worst time in history an American could be shot down there. Rescue? Negative Ghostrider, not happenin’. All U-2 pilots were equipped with uniforms that had no insignia so that they could tell their captors the “official cover story”…that they were simply weather pilots checking on atmospheric conditions. The planes were equally devoid of insignia to help with the subterfuge. Also this of course made the pilots 100% expendable to the United States. The U-2 pilots knew that if they were ever shot down they were as good as dead. As for Powers, once the Soviets developed his photographs it would become clear right quick that those military sites in the photos were not white fluffy clouds.

 

Its hard to imagine the fear that Powers must have felt isn’t it? You are not only a foreigner in a foreign land, you are hated. You are vile. You are the enemy. And your president had just flat out lied to the leader of the Soviet Union. And worst of all, you are a spy.

 

…………………..

 

Flash forward to 2014, and pick just about any year in between. Our men and women in the military have one essential mission – to protect our country and our freedom. And they do it day in and day out, 24/7. They do it on our home soil and on foreign soil. They do it in the most peaceful of places and in the most hostile of places. They do it in places where Americans are loved and they do it in places where Americans are hated. They do it without fail. They do it relentlessly. They do it for love of country and because their country asks them to.

 

So when you see some military folk on Tuesday be sure to thank them for their service to our country. We wouldn’t be here without the countless numbers that have served and died for our freedom.

 

…………………..

 

P.S.

What happened to Francis Gary Powers you ask? Well, those dang Russkies tried him and convicted him of espionage because he was a darn good American (I added the good American part). He spent over a year in prison in Russia and then the United States got him back via a spy trade. He lived in America the rest of his days…and had some damn good photos to share.

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A Possible Conversation About Ray Rice

by KevinH on September 10, 2014

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Do you know her name?
Of course I know her name, its…ugh, I forgot.
She’s his wife. He hit her.
I heard she was lunging at him.
She was, but he hit her first.
Well, if she’s lunging…
A lunge excuses hitting a woman?
Hmmm, well when you put it that way.
Were they arguing?
I don’t know.
I’m sure they were…you don’t just hit someone like that. She probably said something to set him off.
Were they drinking?
Don’t know.
On drugs?
Don’t know.
He hit her twice.
Says here it was a “fight” between husband and wife.
Have you seen the video? I can’t believe the media would call it a fight. He’s an NFL football player. How fair of a fight would that be?
Well, we weren’t there.
Was he arrested?
Oh yeah…pleaded guilty several months ago and got probation.
Probation? That seems lenient.
I thought it was a bit harsh. They’re still married. She didn’t leave him.
Women don’t always leave abusive relationships you know.
Wait, several months ago? Why is this just now coming out?
Well the video of what happened has been released so everyone’s talking about it.
Why weren’t they talking about it when he pleaded guilty?
Don’t know.
Why didn’t she come forward and talk about what happened, like months ago?
Don’t know.
Did you see the television coverage?  All the networks have shown that video of him hitting her over and over.
Yeah I know. TV ratings must be going through the roof.
Yeah.
Wonder how many of his fans have seen that video?
No doubt.
Wonder how many children have seen it?
Gotta be millions dude.
Lots of kids see him as their hero.
Yeah…hope they know you’re not supposed to act that way.
What if they don’t? They might think that’s how a man is supposed to act.
Geez, hope not. Could the networks just not show it? Oh yeah, ratings.
His wife came out supporting him today.
Really, why?
Have no idea.
Wonder why she didn’t support him back when it happened?
Don’t know. Maybe she did.
The Ravens released him from the team.
Really…wow. Wonder why they didn’t do that before?
Said they didn’t know how bad it was until the video came out.
Couldn’t they have gotten that themselves?
Said they tried and couldn’t.
That doesn’t sound right.
I know. They came out today and said they wished they had seen it sooner and had pushed their investigation more vigorously.
Hmmm…wonder why they didn’t push it more at the time.
Don’t know.
You think because it was a woman?
…don’t know.
Seems like if drugs are involved they’re all over it immediately.
Yep.
Makes you wonder.
NFL suspended him two games.
Two games?! Dude, drug suspensions and conduct suspensions are more than that.
Yep.
That seems out of whack.
NFL says they didn’t realize it was that bad until they saw the video a few days ago.
Why didn’t they investigate it months ago? Surely she had injuries?
I was thinking same thing.
What if that video had never surfaced?
Guess nothing would have ever happened.
Well, glad it did.
Yeah…

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A Word About Eddie Christian

May 7, 2014

Every year the Sebastian County Bar Association holds a memorial service for lawyers that have passed away in the previous year.  That service is coming up in the next couple of weeks.  A mentor and friend of mine is going to be honored that day – and I want to say a few words about […]

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Don’t Forget Your Digital Property in Your Divorce Settlement

October 1, 2013

An interesting article from attorney Deborah G. Matthews caught my eye and left me with a stark conclusion: When it comes to dividing your marital assets in your divorce settlement negotiations, don’t neglect your digital property. Ms. Matthews’ article isn’t specifically about property division, but it applies: It is a new world out there. Looking […]

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Alaska Anyone? (Part I)

September 26, 2013

For years I have heard from people about the lures of Alaska.  From those that have taken cruises there.  From those that have travelled there to fish.  From those that have travelled there to view the landscapes and the wildlife.  As far as I can recall, I cannot remember anyone telling me that they had […]

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What’s Venue, and Why Should You Care?

September 26, 2013

In any litigation, including divorce cases, one of the first decisions that must be made is where to file the case. Even when both parties reside in the same state, different courts might have the legal authority to hear the case – which one is appropriate in your case? This is called venue and usually it’s […]

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Woods v. Woods, 2013 Ark. App. 448: Custody and Alimony

September 6, 2013

The Arkansas Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the case of Woods v. Woods on August 28, 2013. It’s an interesting case as it illustrates the way the Court of Appeals reviews factual determinations by the Circuit Courts in divorce and custody cases. In Woods, the mother appealed a grant of custody to the father and […]

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Mom In Trouble Over Goat’s Milk

August 23, 2013

This appears to be a hot month for overreaching CPS stories. This one comes from Maine, and it’s certainly a troubling account, if true: When the baby didn’t take to breastfeeding, Gellerson started feeding him homemade goat milk formula. “Oh, he loved it,” Gellerson said. “We put celery juice in it, and he just loves that, […]

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Reason: More Transparency Needed for CPS Agencies

August 22, 2013

A recent article on the Reason website calls for more transparency in CPS actions, especially in removal cases. Reason is a libertarian magazine that’s published monthly. The piece in question appears on the Reason website here. The article looks again at the Nikolayev case, about which I wrote here earlier this year, in which California CPS workers removed an infant […]

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Tennessee DCS Makes Changes – Are They Enough?

August 21, 2013

Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is a troubled agency. This much seems fairly clear. The Tennessean, a major TN news outlet, even created a special landing page on its website devoted solely to cataloging and categorizing the many stories it’s published about DCS problems, legal cases, and outright failures, including a number of child […]

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