Yellow Jackets

I haven’t figured it out yet, but the cranial hard drive is spinning.  It’s spinning so fast the cooling fan can’t keep pace.  The gears may lock up any minute.  It could be bad.

When I was about 10 or maybe 11 years old, Bubby, Leroy and I were out in the woods.  We were looking for ginseng, but had nothing to show for it.  After a few hours, we sat down on a very inviting moss covered log.  Following our rest, we decided to head back down the mountain toward home.  It was then, as they are prone to say over here in wild and wonderful, that all hell broke loose.  Turns out the cool, comfortable, moss covered log was home to a nest of yellow jackets.  Yellow jackets are a particularly nasty little bee.

One of us did it but all of us denied it.  For the long period we were sitting there telling lies and enjoying nature, someone’s posterior was covering the entrance to the bees nest.  When the guilty party got up an angry swarm of yellow jackets attacked unmercifully.  We yelled and ran and swatted and ran and yelled some more.  By the time we left the woods and hit the dirt road that ran past our houses, the bees had petered out.  My baseball cap was and probably still is up there in the woods, but I was not inclined to look for it.  If there was anything funny it was Bubby’s right ear.  It was about the size of a pancake looking as though the entire swarm of bees may have parked there.  There’s been tall tales over the years concerning who got the most stings, but I think no one knows for certain.  What I do know is that while Mom was making me undress for the baking soda application there was one more bee in my pants.

Since then, I have tried to avoid stirring up a bee’s nest.  You see bees don’t like me anyway.  Over time, they have taken every opportunity to sting me.  They will never like me and never will they believe that I accidentally sat on their hollow log.  And if enough of them, filled with unbridled anger because I unexpectedly stepped on their queen, come after me at the same time it could be deadly.

Mr. President, we out here in the working America trust no one, not a single soul that resides in Washington, DC.  Neither should you, not even during your supposedly private conversations.  The dishonesty is palpable in Babylon on the Potomac.  When surrounded by subversives who would love to have your scalp as a trophy, you have to fight smarter.  Never stop fighting, just fight smarter.  Can you top this insults just won’t cut it.  Otherwise, it is America rather than the swamp that will continue to swirl down the drain.  Forget the tweets.  In fact, you don’t even need a damn phone.  You really want to get their goat?  Just get above and stay above the fray.  You have professional people to speak for you.  Let them do your talking and tweeting.  Do you want to have the fight that counts?  Go behind closed doors and begin knocking together the enlarged heads of Congress.  Hire some media savvy people and start publicly exposing relationships with special interest groups.  Tell your Department of Justice to find and prosecute leakers.  The Art of the Deal needs to become the Art of the Political deal where the American people are actually the winners.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Leading in the Three-Meter Zone

Up out of the Bunker Archives – 1999.

Also published in the Field Artillery Journal. May-June 99

The choice of non-commissioned officers is an object of the greatest importance: The order and discipline of a regiment depends so much upon their behaviour, that too much care cannot be taken in preferring none to that trust but those who by their merit and good conduct are entitled to it. Honesty, sobriety, and a remarkable attention to every point of duty, with a neatness in their dress, are indispensable requisites; a spirit to command respect and obedience from the men, an expertness in performing every part of the exercise, and an ability to teach it, are absolutely necessary, nor can a sergeant or corporal be said to be qualified who does not write and read in a tolerable manner.”-Major General Friedrich Baron von Steuben, Baron Von Steuben’s Revolutionary War Drill Manual: A Facsimile Reprint of the 1794 Edition (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)

In the beginning, standing between independence and the superpower of the day, we were an Army of citizen soldiers in desperate need of professional leadership, discipline, and training. Today, we’re the world’s best trained, most powerful, and professionally led Army. We owe our strength to a willingness to change when necessary and the good sense to understand and leave alone the enduring things that must never change. Ours has been a dramatic evolution from a collection of citizen soldier militia units to the force of Desert Storm.  (continue reading)