Years ago, the song “It’s Crying Time Again” was popular. Today, due largely to COVID-19, there are millions of people around the world who may not be crying, but surely are not singing joyously either. This saga focuses on three “Crying Time” individuals: Captain Brett Crozier, former Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly and yours truly.

Until recently, Captain Crozier was commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. Modly took away Crozier’s command because of his failure to follow chain-of-command regulations. Commenting on his reasons for removing Crozier, Modly stated Crozier was naïve and stupid; even though Modly soon took the insulting comments back, he was replaced. Particularly as far as Crozier’s firing is concerned, an objective investigation is called for, an inquiry as to why the captain failed to follow established rules.

Not being naïve or stupid, Crozier had to know the procedures, bringing up a crucial question that must be answered: did he try going through the chain of command, and not getting reasonably quick results as COVID-19 was infecting his men, put his career in jeopardy in order to protect his sailors and the readiness of his ship? If so, Crozier is a hero as the crew of the Roosevelt obviously believed since they gave him a standing ovation and cheers as he walked down the ship’s gangplank for possibly the last time.

Even if he is totally cleared of wrongdoing, Crozier’s chances for advancement are slim because the leaders of any organization dislike their shortcomings to be revealed publicly. Equally slim, for the same reason, are the chances of Crozier being honored. Modly’s comments are reason to recall the eons old but eternally relevant adage, “Engage brain prior to opening mouth.”

Summing up, if Crozier allowed his concerns to be leaked to the press without valid cause, punishment was justified; on the other hand, if officers supervising him failed to take immediate action on his request(s) for assistance, severe penalties for them are called for because the health of the crew and readiness of the carrier were jeopardized. Crozier’s daily log and the ship’s communication records could be revealing. As this column is written, top Navy Brass have recommended Crozier be reinstated; his future is being deliberated by Pentagon leaders ... or President Trump.

Time for my “Crying Time” problem – the one I will admit, anyway.

To begin, I am not at all proficient with a computer nor do I care to be. I just want the electronic fiend I have a love-hate relationship with to cooperate … some of the time anyway. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s mostly or totally my fault, but I have a First Amendment right to complain.

For the first time in several years, I did our income taxes this year. That was not my original plan; a tale of woe, frustration and, yes, more than a little disgust follows.

The Turbo Tax site refused the password I had used for years. Hold on, that is only the beginning. Just to be sure I had not entered the magic word incorrectly, I tried two additional times – same result. Well, I thought, why not just use a different password? As it turned out, a user must enter the old password to change to a new one which is a problem if you do not have it or the site refused it.

So, the next logical plan was to call the Turbo Tax helpline; any computer user knows this will initially provide a recommendation to solve the problem by using their handy website, a solution I had tried. After that message finally ends, a choice of several numbers is given, none of which answered my need. Finally, a mechanical voice asked, “What can we help you with today?” “I WANT TO TALK TO A MUMAN BEING,” I shouted loud enough to wake all the neighbors within half a mile. “We are very busy today, but an associate will be with you shortly.”

Then, over and over again, “Your call is very important to us, please continue to hold.” Finally, a live human being responds and advises he will send a code by email to enable me to select a new password. After I say I will have to leave the site I’m on and go to my email, he suggests I enable a split-screen on my computer. The problem is the only time I have seen a split screen is when I did not want one and do not know how to do a split-screen. So, go to my email and receive a six-number access code. Back to the Turbo Tax site only to discover eight numbers are required. Try again with same result of receiving six numbers but needing eight. Gave up and did taxes myself.

Ted Shannon is a resident of Mokelumne Hill and a retired CHP Officer. Contact is tsuj12@yahoo.com.

Ted Shannon is retired California Highway Patrol officer and  Mokelumne Hill resident. Contact him at tsuj12@yahoo.com.

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