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Old Salt: “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be”

By Douglas McArthur

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it”

I’ll start by stealing the above couple of quotes from that great philosopher, Yogi Berra. Notably, all it takes to be a truly great person is just focus on one thing you love and you’re good at, be yourself, don’t take yourself seriously, speak your mind no matter how silly it may sound at the time, be good and gentle to others. History will take care of the rest. I sent a link of Yogi Berra sayings to a young acquaintance, a former baseball player, and catcher. His response to my text says it all “Thanks! I love me some Yogi Berra”. I think what my friend was relating was profound respect to a past legend who did nothing but be his God-given self during his short whisper on this planet. I had the good fortune to have attended several 1960 baseball games at the old Yankee Stadium where I saw Yogi Berra and many other legends perform. At the end of my first Navy enlistment, I had returned to the U.S. on a USNS Troop Ship to Brooklyn Navy Yard. For nearly two weeks, while awaiting discharge, I had nothing to do but be a NYC tourist. Riding the subway to Yankee Stadium to see legends play ball was a facet of life I could only appreciate much later.

The following Yogi quote demonstrates the modesty of the man. Someone had written a news article on Yogi in which the writer commented on the unhandsome features of the man. Asked to comment on the rude statement Yogi simply stated, “So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit a baseball with his face”.  Another saying demonstrates his non-ego approach to life as he related the following, “A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, I don’t know any. They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth and it is the truth is all I know”.

I saw Yogi again years later as he coached the Houston Astros in 1986. In addition to baseball, he served his country in WWII. He served in the U.S. Navy as a landing craft gunner where he was wounded at Normandy. What a man.

What’s the Point?

The point is, just like you, I am sequestered in this house for the duration of this Coronavirus COVID-19 involuntary quarantine. Maybe I am going stir crazy and starting to hallucinate a little. That said I feel like just shotgunning topics as if I were Yogi Berra.

The Future, After the Virus

I think it’s now safe to say, like Yogi, “The future ain’t what it used to be”, and “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”. Those Yogi sayings make more sense than most of the self-proclaimed experts we hear from. If you are one of those who think you can rip this country apart and have it gone back to normal whenever some Doctor who looks and talks like Mel Brooks with his sidekick, Scarf Queen sound the all-clear, you have forgotten the lessons of 1929. This American system cannot be turned off and on like a light switch. The laws of unintended consequence plus unscrupulous politicos will have a field day. Now, no disrespect to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, but remember they spent life as liberal democrats and are married to their ideas of math models and theories of saving the world by running your life as they see fit. Who is to say those two, along with the myriad “smarter than you” people behind them, are just using this to prove some global theory? We are already hearing rumblings the virus is nature’s response to global warming and socialist talk of look how easy it was to shut down America. One Liberal Democrat Congressman actually said, “Now we can put our agenda in place”.

I am only guessing here but bet the display of the jackass media at President Trump’s virus teleconferences may have been a revelation to Dr’s Fauci and Birx.

Sure, our President did embrace these two democrats as any reasonable person would in time of need. Being a good businessman, he skipped ideology in favor of the best expertise available. Several times, as the stupid press constantly played gotcha games, I saw the two docs flinch at the disrespectful reporters. In the latest indication, one stupid reporter tried to impugn Dr. Fauci’s honesty and integrity by implying his statements were forced by the President. The good and gentle doctor quickly showed a quick temper telling the dumbfounded press monkey, “don’t you dare go there! I speak my mind freely”. I have no doubt these two professionals have had their eyes open as have many others. Sometimes the laws of unintended consequence work in a good way.

You are Prophetic

Several years ago, my wife and I enjoyed a TV comedy called “Psych”. The main character faked being psychic and occasionally would actually say some truth that elicited a comment, “you must be psychic”. To which he, having misunderstood, would rudely say, “You’re pathetic too!”  Well, I am either psychic or pathetic based on my March and April articles. On 3/15/2020, for the April issue, I told the personal story of a 1958 viral hepatitis epidemic on the Super Carrier U.S.S. Forrestal. On about 02/15/2020, for the March issue, I wrote of the potential deadly Corona Virus and the resulting future shock. I must be more pathetic than psychic because I did little to prepare for what happened since.  I should have bought a boatload of toilet paper and sold all my stocks had I took my own council. So, here is an update as some commentary on those articles:

“It’s like déjà vu all over again”

Another good Yogi saying. Hearing of the COVID 19 outbreak on the nuclear carrier well after my “See Naples and Die” article was déjà vu; that is, we feel like we been here before. Just a few observations and caparisons come to mind. Operationally the U.S.S. Forrestal and the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt are not that different. So, what changed to cause the Captain to act as he did. On the Forrestal, in the face of a deadly outbreak, the problem was faced, fixed, and the mission continued without notifying the world. Go read my April article. What happened on the Roosevelt? One has to ask, in the face of a well-known developing pandemic, why did the Captain make a stop in Vietnam for crew liberty. At that time, the dangers of spread on well-appointed cruise ships were well known. It seems too obvious 5,000 or so crew in cramped warship quarters would be vulnerable to any viral spread. Even if one excuses the foregoing, the Captain should have followed the chain of command and not announced the possible crippling of a major weapon to our adversaries. In the aftermath, some of the actions of the crew also indicated shipboard order and discipline left a lot to be desired. If they acted as they did in the face of a virus, how could they expect to endure a military attack from nuclear-armed forces? Would they simply give up? I hope this does not portend the type of crews we now have.

To compound the Captain’s errors, the way our Acting Secretary of the Navy removed the Captain and made public comments on the Captain were unnecessary.

The Acting Secretary of the Navy, as a result, resigned. Now I hear talk of reinstating the Captain to his post. That will be another misstep. Interesting to suddenly hear liberal commentators and personalities advocating for the Captain to get the command back. Anytime you hear of liberal support, watch out.

Bury the Dead, Heal the Sick, and Get to Work

On 02/15/2020, for the March issue, I wrote of the potential for a pandemic and explained the meaning of exponential. I am sure, like me, you are now exhausted of hearing such terms. Perhaps if the whole thing had not been politicized and used to scare the heck out of us, we would all be better off. The virus has gone from the potential 200,000 worldwide cases, I said could happen by March, to now being over 2 million cases and thousands of deaths. No doubt this virus is dangerous, just as seasonal flu is dangerous. Life, in general, is dangerous. Seasonal flu kills magnitudes more on an annual basis than this viral contagion and we don’t react this way. I think President Trump has acted as he had to due to the liberal democrats, the hostile press, and the nanny state we have succumbed too. Those factions will do or try anything to get rid of our President and plunge us into socialism. Just follow the money and the quest for power. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. I heard one sensible lady say, “Just bury the dead, heal the sick, and get to work”. Of course, we should all stay informed, be responsible, and protect others but not destroy a country. Just imagine what great responses our Government, under Donald Trump, would put forth for this and all situations if it were not for the idiocy he has had to put up with from day one of his presidency.

So! Yogi, what does the future hold? 

Maybe he would say, “The other side has turned a Chinese caused illness into a to a bollocksed up liberal train wreck, for what?”

I think the American people are now beginning to see the following:

“Quarantine is when you restrict the movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people,” Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful. I hope by the time you read this our country is well on the way to normalcy.  Since none of us can prophesy with any certainty and we need to lift our spirits, let’s just end with a few more Yogi sayings.

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
  • We made too many wrong mistakes.
  • You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.
  • Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.
  • I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you. If you wish to comment, please email me at

God Bless You All.

Submitted by Old Salt, Douglas McArthur, USS Forrestal; Ships Company, USS Saratoga; VA 34 Blue Blaster Squadron, and U.S. Army Reserves (Florida National Guard). 














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