The Daily Dose/January 21, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
Notes from our Human Experience…
GAYLON FOR US SENATE: VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN: One point I make a lot is America has been at war continuously - every day - since we invaded Panama in 1989. The results have been as tragic as they've been catastrophic and the time has come to see the world produced by an America at peace.
The concept of a peaceful America is not all that easy to grasp. War is all we've known for over a generation and we've adapted to it, both because us humans are supremely adaptable and because our wars have not really affected most of our day in, day out lives. I get up every morning and go to work and do some writing and try to be a good husband without having to worry about an imminent attack or having to ration gas or food or anything else.
Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: But what if America had said no in 1989? What if we had said we are going to give Panamanians the dignity of conducting their affairs without US interference? And what if we had done that for every other nation we've meddled in over the years?
The most immediate benefit is the thousands of American sons, daughters, husbands and wives killed would still be alive. So would the soldiers and innocent civilians we killed. There would be fewer widows and orphans around the world. The tens of thousands maimed and crippled would be out hiking with their wives or running around with their kids instead of charging the batteries in their artificial limbs every night.
We would have a more peaceful world.
Dry, Technical Matter: If America had been at peace since 1989 you may well conclude, as I have, that 9/11 wouldn't have happened and ISIS would exist only in some comic book. America would not be a despised bully, we'd be a respected world leader.
We would have a more peaceful country, too. To think a violent American government has not produced violent American citizens is not reasonable. I believe an America at peace since 1989 would have produced a fraction of the mass shootings we've had over the years.
Mass shootings will never end completely, of course. There will always be those hell bent on causing tragedy and mayhem. A violent American government, however, has produced more of them.
Get Your Official Writer's Shack Policy Right Here: Our planet is familiar with the consequences of a violent America. The time for peace has come and our world is entitled to see the planet produced by an America that is not perpetually at war.
MORE GREAT MOMENTS IN BEHEADING THE KING: France's Louis XVI becomes the latest victim of the French Revolution when he is beheaded on this date in 1793. He had been arrested the previous August and convicted of treason by the National Convention, which voted 693 to zero with a couple dozen abstentions to convict him.
By all accounts Louis went to his death with some dignity. He rose about 5:30am and at 8am left with English priest Henry Edgeworth on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of death. On arrival, Edgeworth wrote the king required the priest's help to navigate the walk to the scaffold, but once there Louis firmly climbed the scaffold's steps.
Louis gave a short speech, graciously pardoning those who saw to his death and declaring himself innocent. Assorted accounts noted Louis seemed disposed to saying more, however a presiding general ordered a drum roll and Louis was beheaded almost immediately thereafter.
Great Moments In Confederate Secession: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate on this date in 1861. Davis had been representing Mississippi in the Senate and in February, 1862 would become president of the Confederate States of America.
Dry, Technical Matter: Mississippi had seceded from the Union on January 9 and Davis's US Senate seat would remain vacant until 1870.
Run Silent…Run Deep: The world's first nuclear powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) is christened and launched on this date in 1954.
Congress had authorized a nuclear submarine for the Navy in 1951 and Nautilus had her keel laid in 1952. It would be commissioned in September, 1954.
Diesel Boats Forever, Or At Least Until The First Bush Administration: The Nautilus, of course, heralded a new age in ship propulsion, though diesel submarines would remain part of the American fleet until the decommissioning of the USS Blueback (SS-581) - a ship we served on - in 1989.
Some Gave All…Some Went To Canada: President of the United States Jimmy Carter pardons those who avoided the Vietnam War draft on this date in 1977. Included were those who had fled to Canada and those stayed in the US, but didn't register for the draft or who went into hiding. It not include those who had deserted while in service or civilians protestors convicted of acts of violence.
FunFact: January 21, 1977 was Carter's first full day in office and his action was hardly a surprise, as Carter had pledged to do this during the 1976 campaign.
He Shoots…He Scores!: Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders scores the 270th goal of his NHL career, tying the record for Most Goals By a Defenseman established by Bobby Orr. Potvin would break the record a week later, and the current record is held by Ray Bourque with 410.
Thought For The Day: I will get ready and then, perhaps, my time will come. - John Wooden
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: There wasn't a trivia question last time, silly!
Today's Stumper: Who was the only US Senator from a seceded state to remain in the United States Senate? - Answer next time!
Comments? Recipes? Complaints? Contact the Writer's Shack here!