The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Kent State

Rich Galen

Monday June 1, 2020

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  • Let me tell you a story.

  • At the end of my sophomore year at Marietta College (January 1966), I was asked to leave. When I say "asked" I mean I was thrown out for "lack of progress in earning a degree."

  • There were several, maybe three, "Fs" on whatever the college equivalent of a Report Card is, and I headed back east to my parents' home in New Jersey.

  • I had just turned 20.

  • The Vietnam war was building quickly and at 5'7" and about 135 lbs, I was a prime steak hanging in the butcher shop window of the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Sure enough I got a notice from my draft board to report for my pre-induction physical which, inasmuch as I was breathing, I passed.

  • I didn't know about the bone spur dodge so I hustled up to the New Jersey Army National Guard unit to which my older brother was attached and put my name on the unit's waiting list.

  • Pending that, I thought long and hard about how to survive the war.

  • I determined that the safest place to be was in the Air Force in a job that didn't include getting into airplanes and flying over or even near enemy territory.

    SIDEBAR

    I am not bragging about this. As years went by I suffered buyer's remorse for missing duty in - until this virus came along - the seminal event in my generation.

    I wrote many times from Iraq that I felt I was making a partial repayment on a 35-year-old debt that I owed my country.

    END SIDEBAR

  • I took every qualifying test they had to offer and qualified for any job that didn't require a college degree.

  • Except one.

  • I didn't qualify for navigator because I have no spatial sense. I don't know my left from my right, or east from west, and the only way I can read a map is to turn it in the direction I'm going.

  • OK. Navigator meant going into an airplane which I had already disqualified.

  • I asked what job had the longest training period. "Translator in either Russian or Chinese," the recruiting sergeant replied after much licking of thumbs and turning of pages in thick manuals. "Three years."

  • And the Air Force's East Coast translator school was at Syracuse University.

  • B.I.N.G.O.

  • Just days before I was due to be sworn into the Air Force, the National Guard unit called and said my name was at the top of the list and did I want to

  • He never finished the sentence before I was standing in front of him begging to take the oath.

  • After two years in the NJ Guard, I decided to go back to school and reapplied to Marietta. I was accepted but I had this reserve obligation thing.

  • I did all the paperwork and on 30 January, 1969 I reported for duty at the Armory on Front Street in Marietta, Ohio 45750

  • I had been trained as a "Unit Armorer" meaning I could fix any gun from a .38 (used by the MPs) to a .50 caliber machine gun. The Ohio Guard unit didn't need one of those, so I became the Training NCO. Except I wasn't a non-commissioned officer, so I named myself the Training Almost NCO.

  • Came the anti-war demonstrations.

  • My unit was a long way from Kent State. We got called to to Ohio State University in Columbus to put down misbehavior, and to Ohio University in Athens - about 40 miles away from Marietta. But, for whatever reason, we weren't in Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970.

  • At this time the standard weapon for Ohio National Guard members was an M-14 rifle which fired a 7.62 mm "NATO" round. It is a big bullet.

  • We didn't have bean bags, or rubber bullets. Our riot training was a couple of hours of what we called "Smokin', Jokin' and Hanging Around" on the drill floor pretending to move an invisible group of people out the back door.

  • Thirteen people were shot that day at Kent State University; four were killed.

  • They were killed by kids just like me probably tired, underpaid, scared of being overrun by hundreds or maybe thousands of students. The only weapon they had was an M-14 that fired a very lethal 7.62 mm round.

  • After that the training became more focused, and I took my job much more seriously. We were issed non-lethal ammunition and learned the theories of riot control

    SIDEBAR II

    One of the theories was to leave the demonstrators an easily identifiable exit route so they knew they could get out of trouble and not panic into an escalating situation.

    I don't know if that's still in the doctrine but it should be.

    END SIDEBAR II

  • Marietta College was not a hotbed of anti-war activity. Someone burned down the bookstore, but I covered it as the news director for the local radio station, WMOA, not as E-4 Galen, Richard A., NG21801329.

  • That day in May has stuck with me. A group of kids under trained, over armed, kids like me who panicked, fired into a crowd and killed four students probably the same age.

  • I don't know what the point of all this is, except to say that there but for the Grace of God it might have been me - on either side of the firing line.

  • I'll bet a lot of cops. State Police and National Guard Members around the nation, good men and women, trying not to get hurt, and trying not to get into a situation where they have to hurt a civilian; I'll bet they are thinking the same thing.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the Wikipedia page for the Kent State shootings.

  • The Mullfoto is the SpaceX astronauts just before launch on Saturday.

    --END --


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June 2020

06/01/20 - Kent State


May 2020

05/28/20 - 100,000
05/25/20 - Memorial Day - 2020
05/22/20 - Hydroxychlo - whatever
05/18/20 - The Circumstances of No Pomp
05/12/20 - Absolute Power Corrupts ...
05/05/20 - The Rise of Reed Galvin
05/01/20 - Get Used to It


April 2020

04/27/20 - Dying for a Haircut
04/24/20 - Shine a Light at the Night
04/21/20 - Ain't We Got Fun
04/17/20 - Re-Opening
04/13/20 - Cheerleader-in-Chief
04/09/20 - Biden vs Trump
04/06/20 - It Only Works When it Doesn't Matter


March 2020

03/30/20 - I'm Sailin' Right Behind
03/26/20 - 3.28 Million
03/23/20 - OK, Boomer
03/18/20 - Bye, Bye, Bernie
03/16/20 - Virus/Debate
03/12/20 - Bernie, Bernie, Bernie
03/09/20 - Coronavirus
03/04/20 - Super Tuesday
03/01/20 - Biden Wins Big


February 2020

02/26/20 - Debate #10
02/24/20 - Bernie!
02/20/20 - Debate #9 - Pregame
02/17/20 - Next Up: Nevada
02/10/20 - The Political Coriolis Effect
02/5/20 - Iowa, a State of the Union
02/3/20 - Big, BIG Week


January 2020

01/27/20 - Impeachment Trial - Day 5
01/24/20 - Impeachment Trial - Day 3
01/22/20 - Impeachment Trial - Day 1
01/16/20 - No Heat, No Light, No Debates
01/13/20 - Off the Ledge
01/09/20 - Off the Ledge
01/06/20 - Hard Questions; No Easy Answers
01/02/20 - Finally, the Election Year


December 2019

12/30/19 - Fifty Years Ago
12/25/19 - Christmas 2019 - Six Words
12/19/19 - Walk Time
12/16/19 - When You're a Jet You're a Jet all the Way
12/12/19 - Impeachment Moves Ahead
12/09/19 - Bulldozers and Airplanes
12/05/19 - Impeachment (Ver. 1,205,736)
12/02/19 - How Many More Democrats?
November 2019

11/21/19 - Political Ambassadors
11/18/19 - Impeachable? Maybe
                 Ugly? Absolutely

11/14/19 - And So it Begins
11/07/19 - Is Past, Prologue?
11/04/19 - One Year to Go


October 2019

10/31/19 - A Reason to Celebrate
10/21/19 - Doral
10/17/19 - Pennant
10/14/19 - Meanwhile, the Dems
10/09/19 - It's Government, but is it Good Government?
10/04/19 - Slow Down, You're Movin' Too Fast
10/01/19 - 2019 Subscription Drive


September 2019

9/30/19 - Main Event
9/26/19 - Impeachment - I
9/23/19 - Bullying Ukraine
9/16/19 - Iranian Drones
9/13/19 - Democratic Debate - III
9/12/19 - Boone
9/09/19 - NOT a Sharpie Column
9/03/19 - Aaaaand ... They're Off!


August 2019

8/29/19 - Back to School - 2019
8/26/19 - G7
8/22/19 - Rooting for Recession?
8/15/19 - Campaigning in Iowa - I
8/12/19 - Jeffrey Epstein is Dead
8/08/19 - It's Not All Trump's Fault
8/05/19 - Running with Trump
8/01/19 - The Democrats' Debate II


July 2019

7/29/19 - The Debate Effect
7/25/19 - The Mueller Hearings
7/22/19 - A Brief History of Technology
7/18/19 - Tranquility Base Here
7/15/19 - The Socialist Envelope
7/11/19 - Acosta
7/8/19 - Good Vibrations
7/4/19 - Happy Birthday, America
7/1/19 - Busy Times


June 2019

6/28/19 - The Democrats' Debate II
6/27/19 - Debates: High-Risk, Low-Reward
6/24/19 - Democrats' Dismay
6/20/19 - Crocodile Tears
6/17/19 - Deter, Safeguard, or Defend
6/10/19 - Military Service Fantasies
6/6/19 - Overlord
6/3/19 - California Dreamin'


May 2019

5/30/19 - Mueller Speaks
5/27/19 - Memorial Day - 2019
5/23/19 - A Clowder of Cats
5/20/19 - Spahn & Sain and Pray for Rain
5/16/19 - Then There Were 23
5/13/19 - Biden Widens His Lead
5/9/19 - That "I" Word Again
5/2/19 - Dems One - Barr None


April 2019

4/29/19 - Devotion to Socialism or Wanting to Win
4/25/19 - Requests, Demands, & Subpoenas
4/22/19 - Get Off the Impeachment Train
4/18/19 - Hung Jury
4/15/19 - Senior Citizenship
4/11/19 - Dis-Barred
4/8/19 - Kirstjen Nielsen: You're Fired
4/1/19 - April ... Ah, You Know


March 2019

3/28/19 - Opening Day 2019
3/25/19 - That's Over. Nothing's Changed.
3/21/19 - Why?
3/18/19 - Those Iowa Caucuses
3/14/19 - Cheating
3/11/19 - Democrats and Socialism
3/7/19 - Gone Fishing
3/4/19 - Just Walk Away, Don J.


February 2019

2/28/19 - Michael Cohen Speaks
2/25/19 - Managing Expectations
2/21/19 - The Mueller Report (1)
2/18/19 - Presidents I have Known
2/14/19 - Enough, Already, with the Wall
2/11/19 - Gals-Gals-Gals
2/6/19 - SOTU - 2019
2/4/19 - Blackface


January 2019

1/31/19 - Disrupter
1/28/19 - It Ain't Over
1/24/19 - Polling the Shutdown
1/21/19 - The Shutdown Offer
1/17/19 - The Fixer Fixed the Polls
1/14/19 - Pelosi Can't Afford a Wall
1/9/19 - Nine Minutes
1/7/19 - Relevance
1/3/19 - Shutdown


December 2018

12/27/18 - Trump in Iraq - 90 Points
12/24/18 - Christmas 2018 - Six Words
12/20/18 - The "I" Word - II
12/17/18 - The Nay-C-A
12/13/18 - The "I" Word
12/10/18 - Close, but No Cigar
12/6/18 - A State Funeral
12/3/18 - H.W.


November 2018

11/29/18 - The Election of 2018 is Over
11/22/18 - Thanksgiving 2018 - Rainbow Shiny
11/19/18 - January 3
11/16/18 - I was Right, This Time
11/12/18 - The War to End All ...
11/08/18 - Elections? What Elections.
11/05/18 - And ... Down the Stretch They Come
11/01/18 - Steve King


October 2018

10/29/18 - On Being Jewish
10/25/18 - Simultaneous Bombs
10/22/18 - Permanent Final Week
10/18/18 - Oil Without Saudi
10/15/18 - 45750
10/8/18 - Moderates?
10/4/18 - That Blue Tsunami
10/2/18 - End Game
10/1/18 - The 2018 Subscription Drive


September 2018

9/28/18 - The Kavanaugh/Ford Hearing
9/24/18 - Supreme Court
9/20/18 - Razor's Edge
9/17/18 - Statute of Limitations
9/13/18 - A Poll Dump
9/10/18 - Whodunit?
9/6/18 - Senate Judiciary Hearings
9/3/18 - Back to School - 2018


August 2018

8/30/18 - Monkey Around
8/27/18 - We Make History
8/23/18 - The I-Word
8/20/18 - Zero Shades of Grey
8/16/18 - 82 Days & Counting
8/13/18 - Stiffing a SCIF
8/9/18 - Ohio-12
8/6/18 - A Tweet Storm
8/2/18 - Audiences, Crowds, and Mobs


July 2018

7/30/18 - Good Numbers, Bad Numbers
7/26/18 - Putin isn't Coming
7/23/18 - Trump's Brove Affairs
7/19/18 - The ServPro President
7/16/18 - CNN is Not an Enemy of the People
7/12/18 - America's Resting Face
7/9/18 - SCOTUS Pick
7/4/18 - Happy Birthday, America
7/2/18 - Ghostbusters


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