Opinion Columns & Blogs

HARMON: The ‘little guy’

My laptop computer has a screen saver, a picture of the grandson sleeping at six months (I learned how to right click a few months ago). From time to time I’ll change it, but since his arrival it’s always of him. I’ve been out of town for a while so I get video updates of the little guy crawling in front of the couch on the world’s nastiest rug. A rug that could probably stand on its own if placed in the upright position. If germs could talk, this thing would make a great encyclopedia for the visually challenged.

A relative borrowed the carpet cleaner and her rugs are nastier than ours so I don’t know when it will show up here again. I wonder why we did away with carpet, got these hardwood floors and then covered them in rugs. Don’t these things come from Iran?

When I get back I’m going to do something about that, unless we make the Russians mad enough to start World War III, before I get the chance. I’ve never been to Russia but I had a Russian office mate tell me if Russia were a person he/she would be insecure, schizophrenic and a little jealous of us. Perhaps, just a thought here, if adding Ukraine to the “empire” makes them feel better about themselves ... well, I’m no psychiatrist, but I did go to a counselor -- once.

When I learned how screwed up his life was, I felt infinitely better about mine. He got the money but I got relief. I noticed his doors were closed shortly after that. Maybe he bought a boat. But I digress.

A little security for “Mother Russia” might go a long way. What are we going to do about it anyway; we play checkers they play chess. It’s a scary thought to think of any country, other than ours of course, having the capability to end civilization as we know it because, as we’ve seen recently, we seem to cherish life more than people in some other countries.

We’ve had our share of deranged serial killers, but so far we have not had ethnic cleansings or massacres, unless one remembers Custer and you have to wonder what he was thinking. I’ve seen a couple of movies about nuclear war, “The Day After,” circa 1983 and available on YouTube, will scare the living you-know-what out of you. Watching that white horse and those cows looking for a place to hide when there is no place, is riveting and disturbing, and conveys the huge sense of helplessness we would all feel if the missiles were ever launched.

I wonder if they showed it over in Russia, with subtitles? I doubt it. I also wonder, if they did, would it lead to applause or dead silence in the theatre. “Dr. Strangelove,” a spoof on our relationship with Russia at the height of the Cold War, shows, among other things, the absurdity of the idea of nuclear war, but also, how easily it could happen. And so I worry. But I also worry about this border thing. The ease with which one can leave and enter from the north or south needs to be addressed.

For many years after 9/11 I took a golf team across the Canadian border into Niagara, Ontario. We left the U.S. and returned by simply handing over our drivers licenses for a database check. Each year we towed a fairly large trailer back and forth and when entering Canada were merely asked what was inside. We would say, “Golf clubs and suitcases sir.” Then hear, “Have a nice visit.” From Canada back into the U.S. it was, “Welcome back.” Makes you wonder what all we could have had in that trailer, does it not?

And so I watch the little one, hoping he will have the same opportunities I had and also hoping and praying that someone up there in D.C. has the good sense to know this is what it’s all about, saving the world one grandson at a time. Sometimes I think our foreign policymakers are in “crawl” mode when I’d like to see a sprint now and then. I really want to see how the little guy turns out.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.