I was the Medical Officer on the USS Virginia from 1976-78. 500 young health crew members and 36 healthy officers most recently graduated from the Naval Academy or Ivy League schools and one year Nuclear Reactor Training some at INEL in Idaho. My reactor training as the radiation health officer was for several months in Ballston Spa New York. As I have mentioned in previous columns, I spent most of my time qualifying to be Officer of The Day Underway.
Staff sick call was almost non-existent—except for the twenty-four hours before we got underway. Two things happened at that time that made the lines outside the infirmary on the ship swell to 4-5 times their regular size. The first was because half the crew and officers had gone out the night before to the bars in Norfolk and Virginia Beach or Halifax or La Havre or wherever and imbibed were severely hung over as their next “pit stop” would be weeks or months away. The other reason for sick call those days was for “sea- sickness” and this for me became the subject for investigation.
The Virginia was a (CGN)—Cruiser Guided Missile Nuclear. All power and propulsion were delivered by two Nuclear reactors. Unlike diesel and gas turbine propulsion and generator systems that could be fired up within minutes, the nuclear reactors that provided steam to generators and to propulsion systems required 48 hours to start up. The crew and officers working in the engineering spaces would not know for many hours and even days when we were underway. More than half the crew that showed up claiming they were seasick did so before the lines had even been cast ashore and we were underway. The doctor that proceeded me on the ship actually wrote several papers on this phenomenon and researched it extensively during his Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialty training.
The layman’s version of this is simple. Our balance is affected by both visual cues and auditory queues and when they misalign it causes us to be dizzy and sick. There is also a cerebral part to the process that implants expectations of position and a proprioceptive component—peripheral nerves telling one where he is oriented in space. But the long and short of it is that when the queues don’t match up we get sick. The more times our cortex can process these differences the less sick we will get.
AS an amateur psychologist—never practiced the specialty , part time apologetic and observer of the political scene I have an opinion about the state of current affairs and the state of mind of many conservatives. I have run this by many of my physician colleagues who either are or have been on active duty in war zones and at times deployed for years.
I think people in our country are getting queues that don’t line up. I for one, when issues are what I would call PROVIDENTIAL—directly related to God’s Law and then the Natural Law and then the Constitution and our Great Declaration try to use those as predicates to my conclusion or answer to the problem. There is a direct chain of logic. For example, self-protection, free speech, and religion. When a prosecuting attorney tells a jury that we all might have to take a beat down or that we don’t need to shoot to kill when being attacked I wonder what rule book they are living by. When I see the national media attack a 17-year-old Catholic boy and call him a white supremist I wonder what rule book they are living by. When I hear a “gaggle” of whimpering democratic legislators talk about “Russian Collusion” and try to impeach a President twice using the same narrative repeatedly, and when they are proven wrong—over and over again, and then they or their concubines in the media and press never apologize, I wonder what rule book they are living by. When I hear that burning down city blocks including police stations and Federal Buildings is “civil peaceful disobedience” and that few are arrested and those that are bailed out within 24 hours by a fund supported by our current Vice-President, I wonder what rule book we are living by. When people are given money for not working, I wonder what rule book they are living by. When I am told we will spend trillions of dollars and it won’t cost anything in taxes and it won’t increase our debt, I wonder what book they are living buy. When I see our troops retreating, capitulating, and humiliated in Afghanistan, I wonder what book we are living by. When the President of the United States talks to the head of the Chinese Communist Party for 3 hours and we aren’t told if they talked about Taiwan and when the Chinese Asian Press reports the next day that President Biden was scolded and mocked by Mr. Xi Jinping, I wonder what book our President (Brandon Biden) is living by. Is Mr. Biden about ready to do to Taiwan and South Korea what he did to Afghanistan?
The idea for this column came from a military psychologist friend of mine. His answer reminded me of my sea sickness hypothesis. When moral codes don’t match the reality on the ground and we get mixed signals about what is right and wrong—when the people making the decisions have no moral code and their actions reflect their own ambiguous values, ambitions and emotions, it makes honorable people sick.
Americans are a Godly people. Our Founding by a Godly people reflected their virtue, honor, and understanding of human nature. We are not a theocracy, but throughout early days it was well understood that the predicate of our Founding could be identified by tracing the tracks of our ancestors from ancient Jerusalem and Athens through Hastings and Magna Carta, The Common Law and Enlightenment thinkers to our own Declaration and Constitution. I know the predicates upon which my principles sit. The progressive Marxist have no predicate or principles except their lust for power and the need for more power. Too many of us seem like Bolsheviks. We just want to get along and keep a low profile. I had a physician friend of mine tell me he agreed with much of what I have written and discussed publicly about Covid mitigation and treatment, but he was afraid to speak out because he had a wife and family and bills to pay, and he was employed by the hospital. Those that helped give him his “privileged” life pledged “their lives and sacred honor”. Being ignorant is one thing. Being a coward is another. There is no difference between a Bolshevik and a coward is there?
If we don’t stand together as a virtuous people and fight those who are trying to destroy our country from within, the lives of our children and grandchildren will be very different than the lives our parents and grandparents fought for and gave us. No more mixed signals and ‘crossed queues” Our actions should be well defined and based on principles tested over the past 15,000 years. Let’s elect good people with everyday real-life experiences. Both parties have dropped the ball—in Washington and Boise. They are more interested in securing their own power than they are in making life better for us—why is there a grocery tax in Idaho and why are we paying 58% more for gas at the pump? Why are 80 Navy Seals in Dam Neck Virginia being threatened with a less than honorable discharge because they chose not to take an experimental vaccine? I know what book most of those guys live by—not so sure about the guys in the lush cushy halls of the Pentagon or the legislators in Boise go to lunch with lobbyists at the Arid Club.
I’m getting dizzy just thinking and writing about this. Time to come up for air and daylight and realign my queues.