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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Triadic Ideological Balance of Power in American Government

The American Government is a complex balance of power, based on three main ideological political concepts. This article will explore the complicated relationships between Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism, and how they all affect each other in essential roles in American Government and Society.

   The American government is a carefully balanced one, even though it doesn’t seem like it at times. It is intentionally built on conflicting ideologies in political power, which are perpetually mistrustful of each other. LiberalismConservatism, and Socialism are all chained together in different corners of American politics like diverse watchdogs, protecting the house from outside intruders, but also protecting the house from its inhabitants. This system seems dysfunctional, sometimes, especially in modern times, but it is the best system in place that shows the promise of true practical governmental sustainability. All three ideologies if balanced properly serve a vital purpose in the American governmental system, inherited from our nation’s original famous forefathers.

      Liberalism can be compared to the watchdog of individual liberties. The early liberal philosophers of the “State of Nature,” steadfastly indulged in the common man’sNatural Rights” in society. Liberals wholeheartedly pioneered and promoted public debate on the subject of human God-given liberties in the 17th century. Liberalist founders such as Thomas Hobbes, also carried these ideologies two hundred years later into the 19th century, along with Utilitarian thinkers such as John Stuart Mill, who believed profoundly in “The harm principle of,  let no sane man be held back from doing as they wish, as long as they do no harm, or threaten to do harm to others.”  This principle in dealing with our fellow man is a liberal concept, which has still failed to fully mature in modern society. The War on Drugs - The Right to bare Arms - How we deal with our own people, and other nations and different societies abroad, paints a picture of a conflicted America that still believes in the liberty to achieve one’s goals unhindered by governmental bureaucracy, but fears too many freedoms, especially when freedom lands just outside of the ever-changing limits that our government currently allows its citizens.

     Conservatives suggest that a liberal society puts too much trust in the hands of the individual citizen. They are the watchdogs of allowable freedoms. Conservatives believe that some of the freedoms that are handed out across the nation today are eroding the established values of culture, class, and social standing, which, if allowed to continue unchecked, will eventually end up leading the nation into anarchy and lawlessness. Liberals counteract this claim by citing that when liberty is withheld from the majority of the masses, a vast unbalance between the minority rich and the majority poor occurs, and then begins to hinder lower and middle-class social mobility, and equal opportunity for racial and cultural minorities. This Conservative action of limiting the liberties of others, it can be argued, which is usually sponsored by the elitists of America through fear mongering aimed at the nation’s lower class, or as in 2015s presidential GOP nomination contest, towards the Muslim religion, also leads the country into the same unrest, lawlessness, and anarchy that Conservatives fear so much, due to public revolt against the perceived oppressiveness of the American governmental authority to certain races or social classes.  Conservative social agendas are perceived by the Left as being promoted, bought, and sold in American elections by the upper-class status quo; causing social disparity across the entire nation.

     Liberals are of course the watchdogs of Conservatism. Liberalism, it should be noted, is founded by avid Capitalists, even though they are commonly branded by Conservatives as being Socialists, or God forbid, Communists. Although modern Liberals are staunch believers in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they are still conditioned to back away from being associated with Socialism; mostly out of self-preservation. Modern liberals quietly enact the same or similar social programs and public welfare platforms as Socialist and Communist countries, while still adamantly denying  Socialism. The balance to the potential excesses of Liberalism in our mixed form of government,  is, of course, Conservatism. The Conservative ideology professes to be the watchdog of governmental waste, inefficiency, and public abuse, along with being the upholders of traditional moral values, ethics, and social standards. They see their right-wing idealism as being absolutely essential to a healthy well-ordered democratic society. They also see Liberalism as being a constant threat to these Conservative ideals; in their minds, without them, too much liberty would then spread rampantly throughout our country, thus promoting America’s hidden socialist roots, and then turning into evil communism, after first, of course, taking away all of the Conservative’s guns.

     Conservatism is the American security guard which protects the nation against fast-paced social change and too progressive of a government.  Without this Conservative watchdog, the Right fears the erosion of the very social fabric that our forefathers so painstakingly combined together,  in order to form one strong united social piece of interwoven cloth. Traditional ways of thinking about our cultural and community standards of moral and ethical values are the slower but safer road to a sustainable successful society. Conservatives feel that in this way, our governmental bodies will be able to orderly achieve civilized society's ultimate goals and the citizen’s true God-given potential. This Conservative sentiment is echoed in the words of William Wordsworth’s, Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty and Order, that very perilous can be a sweeping change, and that all uncontrolled social chance is dangerously unsound.” This emulates the ideals of modern conservatism today, with its ever-mistrusting, all Seeing Eye, exclusively viewed by republican conservatives, who look suspiciously towards the attempts of liberals to accomplish anything that is deemed too progressive, or too self-serving to the Democratic Party and their liberal agenda. The American conservatives of today fight off these perceived liberal attacks on aristocratic capitalistic society, just as if they are fighting off angry dirty street peasants from the French Revolution - knowing deep inside, that if the traditional aristocratic order should fall to unbridled liberalism, and then into anarchy - The masses will once again come searching for the heads of our nation’s top one percenters, ready to put them on a pike, and then parade them around for all of America to see.

     One of the founders of traditional conservatism, Edmond Burke, adamantly felt that things such as personal freedoms are like a roaring fire, a good thing if it is kept in strict control and is put to good use, but very dangerous if it is left alone and unchecked in the hands of the reckless. Burke, and the traditional followers of Conservatism, all unanimously agreed that liberty is only worthwhile when kept in proper societal order. With a formidable watchdog like Conservatism in charge of our traditional social standards, which are culturally enforced by the modern day republican, it is no wonder why President Obama’s promises of sweeping change failed to materialize. The Conservative watchdog was waiting at the gates between the opposing liberal and conservative ideologies.  Few of Obama’s idealistic campaign promises were able to get past the “dogs” without traditional conservatives biting them to pieces in President Obama’s first term.

     Although the two parties, Conservative and Liberal, (Republican and Democrat) are squarely and perpetually at odds with each other, they also have one thing in common. The universal ground that they both share is in their mutual beliefs in democracy. This is not a common ground in appearance, especially when it comes to some of the Socialist ideas of Liberalism, which are even scarier and more offensive to the sole core beliefs of Conservatism than actual Liberalism is. All three main conceptual ideologies of American politics borrow from each other in several different subtle ways when it comes to democracy. Socialism threatens to totally take everything that traditional capitalism has ever built by their own financial risk and superior knowledge, and then hand it all over to the common masses that conservatism finds so untrustworthy to begin with. This is why the Republican Party believes that they must have their way in all things American, in order to make rational choices and judgments,  given their beliefs in the lower classes flawed human nature, and unruly unpredictability. This is why the separate ideologies of Conservatism and Liberalism can never truly officially meet in public.

     Socialism is in the other two American governmental ideologies in some form or another. In Liberalism, it is in the form of food stamps, social security, and welfare programs. With conservatism, socialism is simply relying on the charity of the private sector in America’s communities, church groups, and organizations, all run by the private donations of wealthy American proprietors of society. Socialism is the watchdog that lies in wait for social unrest, and public dissatisfaction with their own cut of the American Dream. In order to give a hand up to the lower classes, rather than an endless handout, Conservatism ensures that the lazy do not benefit from the diligent.  Socialists feel that the inequality of capitalism is what creates the need for charity in the first place. They also believe that the division between the class systems of capitalism must be overthrown, and that America’s wealth and goods should be distributed equally throughout the masses, in order for the need for charity, and the specter of poverty, hunger, homelessness, social immobility, and public apathy, to actually become a capitalistic consequence of the past.

     The Socialist’s vision of Utopia is devoid of most capitalistic perceptions of private property. This idealistic sentiment is expressed by Thomas More when he states that “Wherever men have private property, and money is the sole measure of everything, it becomes hardly possible for the commonwealth to be governed justly or to flourish in prosperity.”  The leveling of the economic and social playing field is what conservatives fear most in Socialist ideals. The fall of Russian style Soviet Block Communism is an example that is quickly given in criticizing the merits or safety of allowing radical Socialist idealism to flourish and spread in America. It must also be noted that Russia skipped a few steps in Karl Marx’s grand road to utopia,  and the Communist Revolution went straight into dictator mode.  All without the industrialized sector of its society being fully developed yet. When the seizure of state power fell into place after Marx’s “Revolutionary Class Consciousness,” the Russian people were unfortunately still left in not much better shape under Communism, than they were under the Tsarist regime. Some also argue, that if Russia was to try communism again in a better industrial state than it had been during the Russian Revolution, with the modern advances in technology, and more importantly, efficiency in production and distribution, Russian style communism might have fared much better than it did in the 20th century.

     Socialism in the modern age will scarcely have to go through the dire predictions of Karl Marx’s upheavals and public sufferings, before progressing into the next phases of his roadmap to Utopia. IE: Economic crisis, the immiseration of the proletariat, revolutionary class consciousness, seizure of state power, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the withering away of the state, then finally the Utopia of absolute Communism.  The flaw that we see in Marxist ideology is that Karl Marx used too many absolutes when factoring in the entire World’s human nature factor;  forgetting that people are just as unpredictable by their own self-interests, as they are predictable by their shared nature. Like humans, human nature comes in an endless array of shapes, sizes, and colors. Although we all seem different from each other in many ways, America’s diverse population borrows from and depends upon each other. This is a social concept that all three ideologies agree upon. That’s what makes being American truly unique compared to other societies, and why it has such a great source of public pride in its diverse citizenry, is its ultimate unity in the face of danger and hardships. The Triadic ideological government that our American forefathers painstakingly conceived together is not created equal, but balanced somewhere between Conservatism, Liberalism, and Socialism, in order to keep our great nation held together tightly by our strengths socially, regardless of how  divided the nation becomes over the turbulent winds of fate or the uncertain spans of time.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Earthly Land of Nod

The Earthly Land of Nod

Mortality is made to be
A veil that hides eternity

Distracting our spirits
From their true paths
Leading us away
From our spiritual past

When we were one
Before the fall

This World encases us
In the trap of Yahweh’s clay
So that we forget that judgement day
Has already come and gone for us

In our beginning, we were scattered sparks
Born from the one true God of Limitless Light

Until a lesser god with limited sight
Entrapped us all in the Earthly Land of Nod

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Girl in Hard Rain by BTA

Serving the Self-serving in Perpetual War

Why Millennials want war against ISIS, but don't want to serve
A new poll shows how young Americans take a strong line against terrorism, and perhaps the Islamic State in particular, but don't trust their own government.

*This is the trouble with a vast majority of America's youth these days: They think war is like a video game that you can easily win with superior weaponry. They are also so conditioned by the media and decades of non-stop war where volunteers magically do all the dirty work, that they will constantly promote war without suffering any sacrifices, repercussions, or hardships of their own; by never actually committing their life and liberties themselves by giving selfless service to their country - Otherwise known as being privileged, spoiled, self-righteous and self-absorbed brats.  Our American Future! BTA.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Big Dreams of Small Men

The big dreams of small men have historically rippled into monumental journeys of inspiration, moral and ethical conflict, selfless activism, and acts of heroism and courage throughout time, which have ended up defining their worth beyond material societal perceptions of big or small, rich or poor, thus promoting them into the higher category of great men and women, indisputably proven in the public’s eyes by the good works that they committed themselves to, and the benefits that they created therein to the societies that they served! Unfortunately for the rest of us, compassionless “big men” with deep pockets and small greedy minds will always try to counteract the accomplishments of those great men and women of our history. - BTA.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Trump Nazi Salute!

Adolf Hitler: Speech to the Reichstag, September 1942

“This criminal race of Jews (Muslims) has the 2,000,000 (2,753) dead of WW1 (9/11) on their conscience, and now hundreds of Thousands (14). Let no one say to me: we cannot send them into the mire (Ban Muslims and make the ones already in America submit to a national registry, making persecution and internment much easier later.) Who concerns themselves about our men? It is good if preceding us is the terror that we are exterminating the Jews. (Radical Islamists) The attempt to found a Jewish state will fail. (Islamic state)” - Adolf Hitler: Speech to the Reichstag, September 1942 – (Donald Trump: GOP Frontrunner, 2015).

Friday, December 4, 2015

The ASEAN, APEC, Summits: China’s Ambiguous South Seas Elephant in the Room

The 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was wrapped up for now, last month in Malaysia. And the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) is about to come to a conclusion by the end of this December.  The ongoing and uncomfortable Chinese elephant in the room at both Asian summits has indisputably been the South Sea Islands crisis. China’s surrounding neighbors of Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, plus the small nation of Brunei with its 100 miles of coastline along the Asian waterway, all have separate claims against China over either one, or part of the large group of strategic, mainly uninhabitable islands. The potential political powder-keg over the waterway at the now completed ASEAN summit and the current APEC gathering of nations in the Philippines has caused allot of embarrassment for China over the contentious issue. Compounding China’s uncomfortable presence at the two Asian conventions has been the attending U.S. President, Barack Obama, who has been steadfastly promoting U.S. interests over the disputed waterway behind China’s back, and also behind the scenes at both summits.

President Obama - "For the sake of regional stability the claimants should halt reclamation, construction and militarization of disputed areas," as reported by the Guardian.

A Strategic DistractionThe territorial bickering over the Islands between the West and China has continually distracted both the Asian summits from their intended social agendas.  The ASEAN association’s efforts to “realize” its member communities and enhancing its role in Asia’s regional architecture, has been dramatically underscored by Obama’s presence, and the South Sea dispute. The crisis has  also overshadowed APEC’s aims of inclusive regional Asian growth, and the association’s multinational aspirations of the economic integration of Asia. The recent terrorist attacks in Lebanon and Paris by ISIS, have also effectively allowed China to capitalize on the recent attacks by deflecting the two summits potential negative comments towards China on the South Sea issue, by highlighting instead international concerns over global terrorism. 

A Determined AggressorChina’s stranglehold on the small group of islands will gain the superpower more control over several  advantages in the region. Possession of the islands would not only fortify China’s territorial shipping hold on the key Asian waterway, but it would also allow the country to “Shanghai” more fishing rights as well. The group of small islands cannot hold enough physical armed forces for China to be able to hang onto the disputed seas if it was significantly militarily challenged, especially by the United States. But, China is certainly capable of causing more controversial military tensions over the region, in order to prove both its nautical supremacy and also its ongoing resolve over controlling the economically valuable South Seas waterway.

East - West Tensions over a Valuable Prize
China is busily building up reefs in the Spratly group of South Sea Islands, filling in shallows with small airfields and military facilities. This, of course, has further added to an already tense U.S./China relationship. Earlier this month, the United States deployed their B-52 bombers near the contended Chinese South Sea island bases, ratcheting up America’s apparent challenge to China over the issue. America also sent a Destroyer last October, the USS Lassen, to the widely used Asian waterway, which represents a mammoth $5 trillion dollars in ship-borne trade through the remote region, located about 500 miles from China’s coastline.

Obama recently did some “Saber rattling” while in Manila for the ASEAN summit, in front of two donated Philippine Navy ships from the United States. The Peoples Republic of China’s Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, has refused to comment, though, on the issue of the disputed Islands; especially at the two Asian summits. ASEAN Defense Ministers recently accommodated  China’s silence on the South Sea dispute, bowing to the powerful superpower, by intentionally not mentioning the crisis over the disputed islands at the ASEAN summits traditional ending statement to its multinational attendee’s.

President Obama’s address to the Philippine people while visiting in Manila this Nov. - "You can count on the United States. My visit here underscores our shared commitment to the security of the waters of this region and to the freedom of navigation." Associated Press

Even with the U.S. presidents, military posturing over the South Seas territorial confrontation, America is still very unlikely to provoke a superpower like China much further over a small group of Asian islands. China, Russia, and the United States are ultimately going to have to combine their military might closer together, in order to have any chance of wiping out their common enemies of foreign and domestic terrorism. Just as in Crimea’s ultimately tolerated annexation by Russia, and the West’s new unofficial tolerance of President Bashar al-Assad’s “Evil” regime in Syria – The Four Asian nations whose claims on the South Sea Islands were totally overrun by China, may ultimately end up fending for themselves without much future help from the West over the disputed Islands.

advantages -
military clashes -
stated at a meeting -
Associated Press -
China’s silence -
Ship borne trade -
annexation of Cramea -
Destroyer -

Saturday, November 28, 2015

No Empathy for Fun

The Mealy-Mouthed Politically Correct American Social Trend

Clinton promises never to say ‘illegal immigrants’ again

We are starting to become a Nation of Mealy-Mouthed Pansies who are constantly Bullied by other Mealy-Mouthed Pansies! What the hell are you supposed to call immigrants that snuck into your country illegally? How about Unwanted Guests! Is that politically correct enough? Enough is Enough on the Political Correctness - And not being able to call stuff what it really is!

The Bought and Sold American Dream

The trouble with this Country at the moment is that true Freedom and Safety from Violence and Persecution is Bought and Sold, rather than Guaranteed in America.  Due to this New World Order version of "Liberty," the Rich skirt the "Law" with Impunity, as Special Interest groups incite Violence" with Fear Mongering and Religious-based Lies using media Anonymity, while conspirators within the Government broker it all with controlled strategically planned Social Hysteria to its Confused and Self-absorbed masses, all bowing to the Almighty dollar as their expected Savior. Leaving the true Socialist Teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord and True Savior, mostly in the Suffering Hearts and Minds of the Poor, that cannot buy the Government’s Expensive Favors. This has exposed the American Dream for what it truly has become - An American Purchase that is specifically meant for only those who Can Afford it, and an Ongoing Nightmare of Social and Economic Inequality for American citizens Who Cannot! BTA

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Questioning Authority: The Refugee Vetting System in the U.S.

Knowing the Facts will lead to Better Choices - If you think the Government is Hiding something or making a Political or Policy Mistake - Find Out the Real Facts and PLEASE! - Pass Them On - Being informed is the best way to keep both the Government Honest and American Society's bouts of Social Hysteria Accurate. PS: Remember that Questioning Authority is a Vital Part of that Process.
Thanks - BTA.

Wolf Warrior

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Evil is not Born; it is Taught, Nurtured, and then Unleashed upon the World

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rotten Ronnie

Rotten Ronnie says, " Enjoy your Fu*cking Friday Night! - And make sure to also vehemently not to agree with anything anybody has to say! ‪#‎sociahysteria‬    

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In the Middle of Midnight – A Cold War Story

In the Middle of Midnight – A Cold War Story

    At 2:27 pm Eastern Time,  March 30th, 1981, President Reagan strolled through the "President's Walk" of the Washington Hilton Hotel after giving a speech to The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. The President of the United States Secret Service staff did not realize that a deranged John Hinckley Jr. was lying in wait to prove his delusional obsessive love to actress Jodie Foster by assassinating President Regan that day. Hinckley was lucky and had slipped in along with Reagan fans unnoticed, so he actually managed to get within fifteen feet of the president when he pulled out a 22 caliber revolver, and then proceeded to unload his weapon at Reagan six times as the president went to enter his presidential limousine.
  The first bullet hit Press Secretary James Brady in the head; the second shot hit a police Officer named, Thomas Delahanty, in the back of his neck as he tried to shield the president. The third bullet overshot Regan and the fourth hit Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy in the abdomen as he protected the president by shielding him with his body. The fifth and sixth bullets hit the armored limousine, but the sixth ricocheted off and struck the president under his left arm, lodging the bullet into Reagan's lung. Luckily the bullet stopped within an inch of the president's heart.
   Neither the President of the United States nor his security team were wearing bulletproof vests, due to the walk only being 30 feet or so from the hotel to the president's limo. An Ohio labor official who was standing by the assassin hit Hinkley in the head and took down the maniac while agents, police, and citizen bystanders all pounced on him - violently subduing Hinckley. The President was rushed to George Washington Memorial Hospital and arrived there within four minutes; the arrival time was so short that there was no time to arrange a hospital emergency team. The president then insisted on walking into the hospital on his own power, and then immediately collapsed at the reception desk.
   After only 69 days in office, the president of the most powerful nation on earth had been shot and was is surgery. The Vice President of the United States, George H. W. Bush was away from Washington and returning as fast as he could, while fourth in line to the succession of the presidency in case of the president's death, Secretary of State Alexander Haig, controversially stated he was in charge of the country until the vice president returned. He also stated that there would be no elevation of the nation's threat level. In another controversial move, though, behind Haig's back, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger raised the threat level aimed at Russia, thus setting into motion one of the many, little-known, "Cold War" worldwide brushes with global nuclear destruction.
Back at the Barracks
   I dragged my ass up the front stairs of the old 1940's style German Nazi barracks by the hand railing, moaning and groaning to myself as I somehow made it to the second floor. I then found my way to my room and more importantly my bunk. These Mondays were tough and getting tougher every time I ended up partying too late on Sunday nights in Bad Kreuznach's illicit brothel nightclubs downtown. The booze and the hash, along with the young pretty cheap women that went along with the party, made that five-mile run in the morning cruel punishment for last night’s crazy off-base partying.
   The rest of the day after the morning’s run went just as bad, and a hangover from hell followed me around all day. It was also being complicated by Sergeant Gator's constant critiques of my abilities, not to mention derogatory personal remarks that were obviously not meant to be constructive on his part; all I wanted to do now was to get into my bunk and desperately try not to think about tomorrow as I tried to get some much-needed sleep.
   I started to unlace my boots when the outside alert siren went off. The other soldiers who shared the room with me started waking up and asking me what was happening. I shrugged and couldn't think of anything to say but "beats me!" The inside barracks shrill, ear piercing alarm, also went off as I jumped a bit out of my bunk in surprise. "What-the-fuck!" I exclaimed. I looked around at everyone else with a puzzled expression on my face. Some of the guys were half out of bed by now, also in their underwear, scratching their heads, looking around irritated and blurry eyed.
   Staff Sergeant Leroy Gator burst into the room and started shouting at everyone to" git yer gear on," threatening to dump anyone he saw still in their bunks on their ears. The sergeant's specialist grade four followed him around like he was on a leash and was handing out live M-16 magazines. I took the ammo in somewhat disbelief, they never trusted us "shitbirds," as they liked to call us, with actual live ammunition; they must be really serious about something, I thought to myself. I then called out to the staff sergeant, "hey sarge, what the hell is going on." Sergeant Gator flew across the distance between us and knuckle-punched me in my chest, knocking me back, almost making me drop my magazines of live ammo. "That's what's going on, and yer gunna get more like it if you don't shut da fuck up an git your damn combat gear on Private Armstrong!!!" I managed to catch my breath and squeeze out a "Yes Sergeant!" without wheezing too much, showing too much fear, or turning too blue in front of him. I knew he already didn’t like me and thought I was a pansy. The sergeant took another irritated look at me, then shrugged his head and walked off muttering, "Fucking Armstrong."
   My curiosity was put aside after that encounter with the staff sergeant and I frantically put the rest of my combat gear on while hearing more shouting, whistles, and sirens blowing around us, as upper ranking sergeants and officers started to pile through the echoing halls, all of them shouting orders at the same time and telling us to line up immediately, in-formation, outside of the barracks.
   The night air was a normal cold, crisp German winter's breath that hit me in the face as I stepped out of the barracks I had just dragged myself into. I assembled with the rest of the platoon, waiting for the other sergeants to arrive that were off duty or off base. My chest was still stinging from Gator’s knuckleball to my chest, and I started thinking back to my first miserable encounter with the staff sergeant when I arrived at the base six months earlier.
Meeting Sergeant Gator
   It was just after the last formation of the day and I was getting a little apprehensive because of the way everyone was asking me if I'd met Staff Sergeant Gator yet; then they would smile in a sinister way when I said that I hadn't. I was in my newly assigned barracks room, getting my footlocker in order after being warned by my compatriots of incessant and meaningless surprise inspections and how they got your locker dumped and ransacked if it wasn't up to perfect, predefined military specifications. Suddenly a tall, thin, weather faced and wiry old goat of a staff sergeant staggers through the door of my room with a case of German beer. He proceeded to plop himself down on my newly perfectly made bed, simultaneously pulling out and opening a bottle of beer, then shouted drunkenly to no one in particular, "who the fuck iz zis kid." -          I told him my name was Armstrong.
   The sergeant shrugged off my polite introduction and said in a slurred southern drawl, "youz better not be another fuck up kid, in "Nam" we learned us how to take care of fuck upz real quick; you fucks up wiz me son and I'll killz ya." He then relentlessly tried to make me bet him twenty bucks that he couldn't drink the whole case of beer in one hour. Not wanting to see what he was like in an hour, after drinking a case of beer by himself in my room, let alone be near him while he was doing it - I feigned poverty. I had already dealt with a lot of nutball Drill Sergeants in basic, with Vietnam combat still fresh in their minds. But the thought of this guy being in charge of me, along with the not even veiled first time greeting, death threats - Made me think to myself, man, is this going to suck.
   There was no doubt by the look in this man’s eyes, the dead look that  people have who have seen way too much horrible shit go on in front of them in this life, to ever really take back or get over, especially, and most likely, when it was in some snake infested nightmare of a jungle. I re-assured him that I did not have any money, and also that I did not plan on screwing up. He shrugged his shoulders and gave a sigh like he was bored of me now. He then tried to get up out of my now crumpled, messed up bed, but his legs buckled. He had to grab the bunk sidebars and pull himself up. He then turned as if to say something, then stopped, shrugged his shoulders again, grabbed his beer, and then left stumbling back down the hall in search of another room of underlings to harass.
Standing in the Cold
   Armstrong! Yo Armstrong. My mind came back to the formation, and Sergeant Donny Loven was standing in front of me asking me – “Where were you, boy?” - What, I asked him? – “Where were you boy, cause you sure ain't here at the moment!” Oh, yeah, I’m just tired, I said. Donny and I had gotten to be fairly close friends in the past few months after he got to know me and vice-versa. He was a carefree buck sergeant who brought his wife over to Germany and lived off base.
   I was one of the lucky few soldiers in our platoon who got to go to his house and meet / party with his family; no military bullshit at his house, that all went back to normal on base, though, where he was my platoon sergeant and superior. But not when we were at his personal home. Donny quietly started confiding with me at that moment: “You got yourself in the shit now Armstrong, heck were all in the shit. You got your gear right; keep those live rounds secure, you know how they are about that shit.” What are we doing, I asked Donny? “Some big shit cause they ain't even telling me,” he said, “I tried to ask top the same question and all I got was an irritated look and a, “when you need to know shit you'll know the shit,” speech." - Just then they called all the platoon sergeants to the front and Donny had to run over and face the big wigs.
    After a brief period, Sergeant Loven came running back to us all red faced, and then he took his place alongside the platoon and shouted, “Attention!” – We all instantly snapped together like rigid boards – “Right Face!” – “Forward March!” They marched the whole company to the motor pool and then marched us all to our assigned vehicle sections. Sergeant Loven shouted "Fallout and fire-em-up, and then wait for the order to move out." We pulled in our commo-truck and attached the generator trailer to the back. Everything was already in place, and the trucks were kept full of gas for entirely this reason.
   Donny ran up and tapped on our truck as we were pulling up into position to move out. He jumped inside and said, "Move out, they gave us the order." Where are we going serge? Said our teammate and driver, Specialist Rodriguez. She was the coolest one of the bunch in smarts and proficiency, she was a woman, but she let everybody know that she was off limits and all business. If you wanted to talk with the boys and not want the Army brass to hear what you were saying, you shut your mouth around her and did what she told you. Other than that she was alright.
   Donny told her to steer towards Baumholder. "Baumholder! That's where they keep the nukes," I and Rodriguez both said at once. Sergeant Donny Loven looked at both of us with a serious expression, which we seldom shared together, he then simply said, "that's where we're going," and didn't say another word. We all stared straight ahead at the endless line of military vehicles, all assorted according to their specialized operators and all converging on the exit of the military compound at once.
The Holders of Doomsday
   When we arrived at Baumholder we didn't go into the base which confused me, “I guess we aren't staying,” I said perplexed. That's when the long semi-trucks with huge missiles on the back of them pulled out of the front gate of the base. Sergeant Loven said, "That’s our escort!" "Now where," Rodriguez said. "Just follow them, Rodriguez, and don't fall behind," Donny told her. Specialist Rodriguez complied with a grave look on her face, and there was a serious, uncomfortable silence between the three of us once again. Suspicion and fear started to form in my stomach first, rose to my heart, and then it began to explode in my confused panicked mind - What the Hell are We doing Escorting Nukes?
A ride to Oblivion
   The ride to the as yet a still secret location was a strange and surreal one. It consisted of following an endless convoy of trucks into the German dark night - The destination an unsettling mystery. The situation upgraded itself to extremely scary and not just weird when the Autobahn signs on the freeway started saying that we were headed towards the East / West German border, otherwise known as the "Iron Curtain." Crazy stuff was going through my mind - Like the only reason to Take Nukes that close to the “Wall” is to Use Them! A desperate fantasy of hijacking a freighter and surviving nuclear destruction out in the middle of the ocean, also ran rampant through my mind, and was sounding better and better every time I looked at the machine gun and the stacks of loaded clips that they gave me.
   Coming to my senses I looked behind, and in front of us, at the endless trail of trucks headed towards the communists, and rationality soberly returned to some sort of clarity / reality. The almost comic idea of our captain letting us just turn around and go our own way in the middle of a mission, made me start to chuckle uncontrollably - I've heard that they shoot people for that sort of thing in wartime, I thought to myself, as Loven looked at me weird after my bout of the giggles - Is this War? - I stopped smiling after that thought.
  In my M.O.S. (Military Occupation Specialty), the estimated time of survival in a war with Russia was five minutes on the battlefield, before their equipment, fixated itself in onto my equipment, and then targeted rockets over to my exact address,  destroying the surrounding area, equipment, and unfortunately myself, right where I just set up camp five minutes ago. That was a depressing military statistic; it always made me wonder why the Army felt the need to be so mentally cruel as to give a poor schmuck like me, those kinds of frightening numbers just for my FYI. Obviously, all they cared about was motivation and obedience to bullshit in their soldiers. The mental and emotional, moral of their troops seemed to barely ever cross their minds, at least not until it was too late and the damage was already done.
   I felt alone in the cab of the truck. Both Donny and Specialist Rodriguez had stopped communicating also as a dark realization overwhelmed all three of us. It was like we were separated in our own minds, but still stranded together in the gravity and hopelessness of our situation. Helpless to help each other cope, coping individually the best way we could. The glowing lights of the Iron Curtain were starting to become visible ahead in the darkness. A massive, terrible vision of lights snaking across the German landscape. A dark and light nightmare that festered somewhere in the middle of the midnight darkness of our present minds. Preventing us from doing anything to turn away from it; hypnotized by its horrible beauty.
   The radio crackled our code-sign and Sergeant Loven listened intently to the encoded message, writing it down on his small notepad, he quickly had me give him the code book, decoded the message, and then he sharply said into the microphone "Yes Sir" followed by a confirmation sign and an over and out. Donny looked over to Rodriguez and said, "Turn it around specialist; we've been called back to the base." Rodriguez coolly said a "Yes, Sergeant," back at Donny, trying not to break into too much of a smile, keeping her usual stiff composure. "What the fuck are you serious!" I shouted - Then I proceeded to grab Donny and shook him around a little bit until I realized what I was doing.
   That was too much for the specialist and she broke out in laughter and lost control a little on the road, as the sergeant grabbed the dashboard for support and ordered me to let go of him. He laughed and said, "I know who I can trust now to keep their head." He then nudged me and whispered to me so Rodriguez couldn't hear," One way or another were slipping away and getting a beer when we get back to base."
   The trip back was a lively one that passed by like time was in hyper-drive. Our minds also reverted back to all of the happy hopes and dreams that make and define us, purposely dismissing the fact that we almost helped wipe out those same essential positive human attributes from the face of the Earth - By enforcing our government's insanity. We dropped our nuclear friends off, back at the base entrance to Baumholder where we had picked them up at. When we reached our own base in Bad Kreuznach, we were absolutely starving and exhausted after our mutual adrenaline rushes had long since worn off.
   We endured the long line back into the base and finally parked our rig in the motor pool after unhooking our generators; then we were off towards the barracks and hopefully food. I shouted at a soldier, “What the fuck was all that about!” - He shouted back "President was shot" - "What, you're joking," I said. Donny after hearing that, said, Oh Shit! He then patted me on the back and told me, "Sorry Armstrong, I think I better get back to my wife!" “Later serge,” I said. Rodriguez lived off base as well and said her quick and formal goodbyes to me and left for home also, I assumed to meet her boy / girlfriend, I could never tell.
The “Victory” Party
   As I entered the barracks I followed the hooting and hollering into the game room and found a melee of happy soldiers. The room was full of tables, piles of steaks in warmers with all the fixings, and several kegs of beer, iced up in trash cans. I also found out after guzzling more than a few beers in a row that we were pulled back a little after President Reagan came out of surgery. Talk about a close call, given how close we were to the "Iron Curtain," I could only imagine what could have happened if he had died instead, right as we arrived with all our weapons of mass destruction to the doors of World War III.
  Looking at my plate of steak, and at my full glass of beer, and then looking up at the taped Super Bowl playing on the television screen - I thought deeply to myself -This is our reward for giving into the darkest part of human nature, and almost destroying it all. I then felt an uncomfortable tingle up the back of my neck and turned around in my seat to find Sergeant Leroy Gator standing behind me. His arm swung at me and I braced myself for the impending blow - The staff sergeant proceeded to pat me on the back, and then he said, "Good Work Soldier”- The sergeant then bee-lined away from me towards the kegs of beer. The ironic nature of the whole night’s experience made one thing crystal clear in my mind, a sort of new life goal that I was intent on fulfilling as soon as I could - Get the Hell Out of the Army!
Published by Brian Thomas Armstrong
Mr. Armstrong was born in San Francisco and moved to Washington State as a small child. He grew up a hippie kid in the 60 s and 70 s with very liberal parents. He joined the Army at the age of 17 and was stationed at Bad Kreuznach Germany in 1980.