Monday, May 20, 2013

American Pioneer Spirit

I Just love the American pioneer spirit 

I have been following the national news a little closer than usual making sure I try to give as much time to Fox as I give to MSNBC.  It has not been a pleasurable experience I assure you.  As a hobby historian, I inevitably find myself comparing current trends to trends of the past in the hopes of seeing some silver in the clouds that are forming overhead.  In my humble opinion we are rolling quickly towards circumstances that may well endanger the very structure and longevity of this once great democracy.  If you believe in Communism or the Tea Party, now is the time to hit the "ESC" key and leave since you will probably not like what I have to say in the following paragraphs.   

There are groups forming throughout the U.S. purporting to be politically motivated and often laser focused on a single facet of what I believe to be socio/poitico/moral infrastructure of this country.  The problem lies in the way they attempt to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.  As an example, because one group has taken a very broad interpretation of our Constitution, I can no longer feel safe in my neighborhood tavern, a dark movie theater, and some cases, even church.  Why?  Because one of these outspoken groups has persuaded the government that there is a need to carry a dangerous firearm into facilities like those noted above.  This need exists even though there is a statistical probability that the dude packing heat is only going to be one of a tiny minority of the other guests.  I, one of the unarmed majority, have no way of knowing what mental state Bubba is in nor do I even have an inkling about his proficiency with the firearm he has so casually tucked into his shoulder holster.  I don't know if he is there to take out a long simmering grudge against someone in the facility.  I don't know whether he has the capability to accurately distinguish me from some perceived threat and cause me to become "collateral damage."  The irony is that the 2nd amendment has become sacrosanct that there is no way for a concerned citizenry to answer any of these concerns.  So people like me are forced by people like Bubba to continue, should I decide to stay, to place my own well being at stake, or I can opt to leave and deny me the pleasures I may have been enjoying until I spotted the Bubba's 2nd Amendment right. 

I live in a country that is constantly in a state of economic competition with its neighbors and trade partners throughout the world.  Yet, this nation will have to deal with a generation of young college graduates many of whom do not support even the most basic constructs if the scientific method.  These hyper-religious "flat earth" zealots will have to face competitors who actually know how petroleum is formed over the millennia.  How life and death can be modified at the genetic level and not through the ever evasive soul.  The rest of the world competing with us will not believe that the earth and all of inhabitants have only existed for less than 6,000 years.  We will sit across the tables from our competitors who will barely conceal their amusement at our naivete and will use our rigid standards to their own great advantage. 

To insure some semblance of fairness, the United Sates Government currently has the authority to levee and collect tariffs on trade items entering the U.S.  Of course the U.S. recognizes the right of sovereign nations to set their own tariffs for items we may wish to export to that country.  It is all very complicated but in the end very smart people on both sides work out enough details so that I can buy a BWW and the French shopper can buy levi jeans.  This system has worked reasonably well throughout our history except for a period around the mid-1800s when a smaller group of States decided to dictate terms to the larger majority of States.  The U.S. had levied tariffs on prized U.S. cotton.  A exploding industrialization of England had placed a great demand for our cotton.  Southern growers to sell the cotton without collecting the established tariffs noting they were in competition with Mid-East and Asian cotton.  Beneath this refusal to collect tariffs was a sub-plot to undermine the established government in Washington as a subtle way to demonstrate their own power and selectively rebel against the laws and decrees emanating from Washington.  This initiated a growth industry involved in stealing past U.S. naval blockades designed to stem the growing tide of cotton smuggling between the U.S. and Great Britain.  Ft. Sumpter was one of the small island fortresses set up to enforce the naval blockade efforts.  This Southern policy of ignoring Federal laws became known as "nullification" and as we all know, this Southern policy quickly spread to almost every category of legislation coming out of Washington.  A terrible war pitting brother against brother was just around the corner.  But heh – what has a history lesson from the 1850s have to do with what is going on today in the United States?

The concept of nullification has even more potential bad consequences especially if we choose to simply shrug our shoulders and hope the same sort of nonsense doesn't begin to impose its will on my State.  It is easy for someone in Virginia to chuckle at other States attempting to place into law their right to ignore the laws and mandates issued by the Federal Government.  As an individual citizen, I would have little voice in court if my only defense of a crime was that I did not agree with that particular law and therefore as a "Patriot", I chose to ignore the laws governing my violation.  Yet several of the separate States of this Union are currently submitting robust legislative bills expressly notifying the populace in that State that they are no longer required to obey key elements of Federal.  One State went the extra step into lunacy by writing legislation threatening to bring charges against anyone within their span of electoral interest who actually chooses to obey the law of the land pertaining to elements of firearm control.  One only has to look at the long list of legislative actions designed effectively prevent a woman from seeking an abortion even though the Federal Courts have reaffirmed that right on numerous occasions.  States have taken extraordinary care to prepare requirements designed to identify and process illegal undocumented aliens.  The entire process of maintaining a viable immigration system, including policing and oversight of these efforts plainly lies within the purview of the Federal Government and none of these controls and legal oversight have been delegated to any of the individual States.  So where is all of this headed?

I can't claim to be a seer or predictor of the future.  However I can claim to be reasonably up to date with the news pertaining to this nation.  Based on my well informed grasp of the daily news and a more than passing interest in America's history, I can present some scenarios that might seem a little "out there" but in my opinion, very possible in our near term future.  Here goes…. 

It's a warm Spring day in a one of the Great Plains States.  Their legislature has passed sweeping laws placing the Federal Government on notice that any current or future legislation pertaining to weapon possession will be ignored by all State citizens.  To make their point as a sovereign entity within the U.S., their Federal Senators and Representatives will begin to immediately bearing arms inside the Capitol Building while conducting their political duties.  This will bring these individuals into direct violation of Washington D.C. laws pertaining to carrying concealed weapons.  It will also be a direct violation of Federal Laws pertaining to the carrying of weapons on Federal property.  A secondary group of State legislators will attempt to gain entry onto all the Federal properties in their State including the seven U.S. military reservations located within their State.  A Third group of State legislators will attempt to board commercial aircraft enroute to New York City.  If they are permitted on-board the aircraft they will land in New York City and immediately visit the Office of the Mayor where the Mayor will be informed that as of this date, all residents of their State that they will be authorized to bear arms unrestricted in America including any State which may have more restrictive laws that, in the opinion of this great plains State, brings them into violation of the 2nd Amendment. 

A very large number of weapons are confiscated and in the case of the traveling groups made up of State Legislators, arrest were made and steep bonds were set.  The Federal Legislators had their weapons confiscated but in accordance to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution they were not arrested.  Since many of their staff members also chose to bear arms, these individuals were arrested and the offices located within Federally owned property was searched and all weapons and ammunition was confiscated.  There arose a great howl of indignation crying any number of violations of personal rights and privileges.  Soon other States joined into the cacophony of threats against the current administration and a call to repeat the actions of the Great Plains State was issued.  Several States willingly agreed and dates were set for the actions.  The U.S. Government restated with force the current laws on the carrying and/or concealing weapons on Federal property.  They noted that the Attorney General had issued orders that any similar violations of laws as demonstrated by the Plains State would be handled in a similar fashion with the exception that under the provisions of the "Patriot Act", bond will be automatically denied as a matter of national security. 

In the crowds gathered around a group of State Legislators attempting to board a plane for New York City, Bubba sat quietly and steamed within.  He had been raised since childhood to believe that Government was essentially evil and any rules, regardless of how minor, pertaining to the ownership of weapons was nothing more than the first step towards confiscating all weapons in America.  Bubba simply could not let that happen.  He takes aim and quickly kills three ATF Agents wearing their clearly marked black windbreakers.  He then drops two local police officers assisting the ATF Agents.  Sprinting out the door he drops another ATF Agent before he reaches his car and speeds away.  Unfortunately Bubba was only one member of a small but dedicated group of men who distrusted the Government and were seeking a cause on which they could make their stand.  The whole legislator weapons fiasco was a perfect vehicle.  As Bubba-1 sped away, Bubba 3, 4, 5. 6, and 7, were stating similar political positions from the barrel of a gun.  By the end of the day, 12 Federal Agents lay dead next to 14 more local police officials.  About twenty people, mostly innocent bystanders were wounded along with another dozen wounded Federal and local police officials.  Three Bubbas were also killed and two were taken captive.  The living Bubbas told a story of future planned conflicts involving many itinerant groups, both large and small but all focused on damaging if not destroying the U.S. Government.  

The Federal Government's subsequent actions were inevitable and totally predictable.  Using the Patriot Act and some quickly fashioned new "temporary" legislation, the U.S. Government moved against those groups named by the captive Bubbas as well as other groups already known to possess similar hate for the U.S. Government.  New pictures and descritions of flaming compounds with scattered bodies and row after row of both automatic and semi-automatic weapons were displayed virtually every night on the national news networks.  New efforts  to limit the purchase and ownership of many of these types of weapons started to gain momentum much to the chagrin of the hundreds and hundreds of Bubbas across the nation.  The violence did not abate but rather it grew monstrously.  New emergency decrees were issued by Washington involving the unwarranted search of homes and offices and seizure of all unauthorized weapons listed in the growing list of decrees from Washington.  The ever expanding list of daily Federal and local official casualties offered the Whitehouse with just enough leverage to force even more stringent laws through a muted and confused Congress. 

When several States finally reached their political breaking point, the word secession started to be tossed around more freely.  In the end, three years later, six Southern and Gulf States along with two Plains States opted to notify the Federal Government of their intention to issue a decree of secession.  All of the States in question had considerable military and other Federal assets within their borders.  The Federal Government issued a decree that these facilities would remain in place and it was the intention of the Federal Government to significantly reinforce these facilities with both manpower and weaponry to protect these facilities.  On 12 July 20--, a US Coast Guard riverine craft on the Mississippi River was struck and sank by a rocket fired from a State River Protection vessel.  Later in the day, this same State river vessel open fire on an Army Corp of Engineers office/equipment storage area killing and wounding several dozen of the military and civilian workers.  The Federal Government was given notice by a delegation of all of the recalcitrant States that all uniformed military personnel were to leave their borders and all civil servants would be given the option of remaining at their desks or leaving with the military personnel.  In any case, all equipment, files, stockpiles and similar inventories would remain in place and not be permitted to be evacuated with the personnel.  All evacuations will be completed within ten days after which time any remaining Federal personnel would be arrested as illegal aliens. 

Do I have to go into detail with what happens next?  Oh, yeah, the Federal Government goes to war.  You can bet on that.  They will recover all jeopardized materials.  They do this in less than four months but not before slicing and dicing the U.S. Constitution to the point where another convention had to be held to produce a new Constitution to better suit the emergence of the new U.S. Government.  America will begin to look more like a European nation with no rights to firearms, severely limited States Rights and more centralized Government with a modified type of parliament for the selection of Presidents and limited terms of offices for all Federally elected officials.  States will cede virtually all power to the central government retaining only local police and first responder service.  Schools will teach a universal national curriculum which can only be modified at the national level.  Churches will be taxed and church representatives will be paid as State employees financed by the Federal Government.  States will have local representative bodies to manage routine State affairs and will elect Senators and Representatives to the national government for terms not to exceed three years per election and limited to three elections (nine years) for a lifetime.  There is no ability to shift from one "house" to the other.  You are either a Representative or a Senator.  No law can be passed by one State that is in direct contravention to the laws of all the States nor the Federal Government.  

Way to go Bubba.  You did good son….

















Friday, May 3, 2013

Are you kidding me!?

Are you kidding me?

I have seen and done lot in my 69 years on this planet.  I have been shot in war, jumped out of over a dozen different aircraft onto at least that many different drop zones, trained to live "off the land" for prolonged periods of time, graduated with honors from graduate school, married well and helped to raise two great boys into full prosperous and meaningful lives, travelled throughout world spending time in almost two dozen countries five of which no longer even exist and met with literally thousands of people some of whom actually could be called acquaintances.  Not much really surprises me anymore but that does not mean I don't find myself becoming more and more frustrated and angered at the sheer idiocy of the actions of my fellow citizens. 

I noted some of the highlights of my own life above to demonstrate that I have periodically been called upon to face fear and desperation but somehow managed to move forward.  Many of the problems in today's headlines are caused by deep seated fears that my fellow citizen is simply too meek and unsure to face in a responsible manner.  In a democracy, the rule of law is the foundation for that form of government to continue to exist.  If, on the other hand, you begin to fear the instruments of law within your society, then your society is doomed to destroy itself.  If the citizen believes they must arm themselves with obscene quantities of weapons and stockpiles of ammunition because they do not trust the ability of their designated law enforcement agencies to protect them then they have initiated that road to societal destruction.  I am rather amused by a non-trained weapons carrier touting the need for extended ammunition magazines.  I have spent considerable time in combat environments engaging actually trained and dedicated adversaries.  On those occasions, I used my US Government assigned weapon, a rifle with a simple twenty round magazine.  Though my rifle did have full automatic capability, this method of fire was rarely used.  We all preferred the careful use of single shot engagements to better enhance our chances of eliminating our threats and to preserve not only our ammunition but also the mechanical integrity of the weapon.  I received extensive training on the use of my weapon and was confident I was at least as well trained as my adversary. 

Given these well documented facts from actual combat engagements, why do ill-trained and improperly motivated citizens in the US still believe they need more than one rifle to protect themselves from unspecified threats but in fact feel the need to acquire multiple weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition?  Any common sense evaluation of scenarios would note that a threat requiring more than a couple of dozen bullets from a single weapon would indicate a threat which could not be overcome by a single individual even in the most outrageous Hollywood movie.  Why then do our citizens feel the need for extended magazines and multiple weapons?  The simple reason is personal fear.  Even "Rambo" only had one side arm.  The frightened little mind that believes more weapons and more ammunition is the answer has forgotten to take into account the one most disturbing aspect of a "gunfight."  Simply stated – the other person is also armed and shooting back. 

This simple fact is what will cause our frightened little mind to ultimately lose in these types of engagements.  By purchasing multiple arms and crate loads of ammunition, they have already demonstrated a total lack of understanding about self-protection and one-on-one winner take all engagements.  Their fear has already doomed them but the most disturbing fact is that their perceptions and lack of trust with law enforcement have spread their fear to the rest of their immediate society.  I would draw their attention to the activities of the local police forces in Massachusettes following the tragedy of the Marathon bombings.  In a matter of hours an entire town was effectively surrounded and placed under a modified police authority.  Now imagine if the several hundred dedicated and well trained police officers were multiplied to reach the numbers that could be fielded by only one of America's infantry divisions – upwards of 20,000 young, strong, well trained and fully equipped men and women with virtually unlimited fire power at their disposal.  These soldiers will not have to seek "hideouts" or "cache" their weapons but will walk our streets in large well protected numbers with any number of "lists" on who lives where obtained from credit and bank accounts, utility bills, hospital records and previous military service records just to name a few.  They will know whom they are confronting.  Trust me!!  Bubba the Patriot, on the other hand, will have scant information on the mission of this Division, how many troops are available, how they are monitoring his activities and what steps this unit will take to accomplish their mission.  If you think the police officers in Massachusetts were upset because on of their own was killed, consider the steps that a field commander will take if his front line troops are "engaged" by Bubba Patriot and his band of
freedom fighters.  It will not be pretty.  Now let's see how many of Bubba's Freedom Fighters want to continue the struggle by heading for the woods and mountains.  Again, I assure you that common field equipment in support of our troops will be able to quite easily find and destroy even the most cleverly concealed lads and lasses who might choose to run for some idea of cover in the woods. 

OK, that's probably enough discussion about these little minded people who believe they are in some way acting out some twisted and convoluted version of patriotism.  If they harbor a sense that they will ultimately be called upon to face off with the entire power and might of a nuclear equipped government, then they have already acknowledged they no longer believe in the concepts of democracy stemming from the ability to elect our governments in free and unfettered elections.  That is the worst type of fear since it is driven also by deep cowardice and ignorance.  They don' want "terrorists" to be tried in our courts because they do not trust our court system.  These same misguided cowards are the ones who yell the loudest about their rights to attorneys, protection of the court and their rights to remain silent when accused of an infraction of the law.  The are quick to point to the 2nd   Amendment right to bear arms but somehow find it inconvenient to call to mind the base Constitution and the rest of its amendments.  Perhaps if these pseudo-legal experts actually read the document in detail along with the supporting documents and discussions our founding fathers used to formulate this powerful, yet flexible document.  They would quickly learn that The Constitution has been changed and modified dozens of times since its initial printing.  Some amendments were added and later over written by new amendments proving that nothing in our base document is invulnerable to change based on the concepts that change within our society.   We do not authorize slavery, we do authorize the consumption of alcohol, and women can and do vote.  If these monumental changes were made the law of the land in the United States, then it is quite conceivable that as we mature and grow into adulthood as a nation, we will see the need to eliminate personal arsenals by a new amendment as have most of the other civilized nations of the world.  

Where is the reality of today?  It's very disturbing especially to some of us who actually get our daily doses of world news from several sources including, but most certainly not limited to Fox News.  What are the under currents that are ongoing and are actual threats to democracy as we know it in America? 

-       One Southern State attempted to name a single religion as their State religion.   (A clear violation of the 1st Amendment). 

-       Another Southern State wants to enact a policy of "nullification" whereby it can pick and chose what Federal laws it decides it wishes to obey and which it wishes to ignore or "nullify".   (A clear violation of Article VI of the Constitution.)

-       A certain Representative from Texas has indicated he intends to seek the Presidency even though he was born in Canada of an American mother and foreign father.  (A clear violation of Article II of the Constitution).

Now the latest rumblings indicate that a growing number of so-called Americans believe the United States is headed for another armed civil rebellion.  I would imagine that the cowardice that makes these statements would show their true run and cower nature when the first rounds are fired.  In the meantime, I would ask such "patriots" to consider just what this country would look like following such open hostilities.  Any semblance of personal rights and privileges would be suspended probably - indefinitely.  The Constitution would become an historic relic of no relevance to the surviving form of government.  All elections would be suspended – also indefinitely.  The individual police forces would become "well regulated militias" in support of a powerful and domineering military force.  Bubba, should he actually survive trial and execution for treason, would never again have to be concerned about his right to bear arms.  He, and ALL of his fellow citizens will be forbidden from ownership of private weapons and ammunition.  So go ahead Bubba and threaten the US with armed rebellion.  Your personal dossier will grow and grow as time goes by. 





Monday, April 23, 2012




I am rather at odds with my adopted country's terrible fascination with death disguised as "protection."  There are currently enough personal side arms in the United States to probably arm the entire adult population with one firearm each.  I have listened and spoken at length with some of the most rabid pro-gun advocates in the past couple of months and several facts became evident to me (or at least facts from the folks with whom I spoke).  I spoke with perhaps fifty people ranging in age from 18 to 68.

-       The people I spoke with were about 50% ex-military folks but most of them had performed duties that did not keep them on "front lines."  In the military we say that these people were assigned to non-combat arms assignments.   Think – mechanics, cooks, clerks, medics, supply folks and key people like that. 

-       Probably less than 15% had actually participated in combat operations i.e "actually saw shots fired in as anger."

-       A few had been wounded in combat.

-       None of them had ever been assaulted or threatened in a one on one situation by another person.  No one had ever been mugged, had a weapon pulled on them or felt that their lives were being threatened personally by one or more individuals.

-       Only the former military members had ever killed another human being

All of them, to differing degrees, believed strongly that they saw the need to own personal firearms to"protect" themselves and/or their families.


Are you seeing the irony here?  These "gun nuts" believe they need the personal protection of a firearm even though none of the folks I spoke with had ever been threatened.  They all believed strongly that they would have no compunctions about killing another human being who displayed intentions to do them bodily arms or to steal personal property from them.   Each and everyone of them would "stand their ground" and everyone of them believed killing another human being in these situations is not only necessary but in fact, is an expression of personal patriotism.   So if someone is seen fumbling around their garage while attempting to steal their five year old Toro lawnmower, they have the right, nay, the "obligation" to kill them.  This is what this country has devolved to – a country where a human life is not worth more than a $20 used lawnmower.   To insure that they remain protected at all times, they want to be able to carry their weapons everywhere their day takes them including schools, County rec centers, shopping malls, airports and even churches.   They also want literally unrestricted abilities to purchase as many weapons as they wish including assault rifles, Teflon (body armor piercing) ammunition, pistols with modified 30 round magazines.  Have we, as a nation, become so  "wussified" that we think there arte bad people who only purpose in life is to hunt us down and kill us.   Shame on us as a nation for allowing this to happen. 


I am combat veteran who wore a "Green Beret" for many years.  I have been shot in battle, lived through numerous assaults on the sites where I was positioned and I met my adversary on numerous occasions on the field of battle and came out the victor.   Killing never came routine or easy for me.  I was trained well and survived the terror and emotions associated with battle.  Today I view my former enemies with respect and admiration.  I do not share the same respect and admiration for my "neighbors" who seem not only very willing but in fact, very anxious to take a life.   For all of you who read this – please note that I am "officially" qualified on over sixty firearms.  I have probably fired over a quarter million rounds of ammunition in training and combat.  Are you ready for this – I do not own any firearms and will not permit people into my home who carry personal weapons, concealed or open display.  The walls of my home arte like most peoples – drywall and wood frame.  A bullet would pass through most of my walls before losing its lethality.  There will be no "firefight in my home."   The most valuable item in my home is my wife.  I will gladly assist any thieves who enter my home with the intention of stealing my personal goods.   But this is just me talking now and I know that more and more of my neighbors can hear thumps in the night and know that they are being sought out by unknown assailants even as we speak.  At any rate, please "neighbor" don't count on me to be of any help when "they" finally come to take away your guns.  You are on your own when the world collapses and marauders begin to surround your bunker. 



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lack of Communication

A Lack of Communication


Sorry for having been so quiet for so long but I knew if I got started I would soon become totally irrational given the babble that has been spewing from those who we trust to keep the train on the tracks.  After listening for as long as I could, I decided to put some thoughts to paper and see if I can, in my tiny little way, put some sense to the fiscal issues now facing us.  What I would like to do is to address some of these issues from a language point of view rather than a simple ideological standpoint.   When I get tired of this methodology I will stop and you can all chuckle that I did it again and now I guess "he" (me, will go back into hibernation. 


One of the loudest and most imitated phrases is perhaps the most ironic since it originates from the political right whose voice is always there to protect the business persons and entrepreneurs in or society.  See if you recognize it…it goes something like this…"We cannot tax the wealthy because they are the ones who create jobs"… and presumably stop creating jobs if they were taxed the same as everyone else.  If discussions with my son, a holder of a Master's Degree in Business Administration, the almighty "MBA."  It was agreed that rich folks may or may not actually own a business that employs workers.  If they do own a business, ask them why they actually own their firm.  I assure you not one of them will say they entered the world of business so they could make jobs.  They entered business so that could "Make Money."  Employees are just one of the tools they use to "make money."  In fact, emerging data has shown that businesses are sitting on $3 Trillion dollars and are many of these businesses are actively pursuing the opportunity that these large bank allow in enabling them to review their work procedures to determine where they can automate or combine functions and thus make even "more money" at the expense of their current work force.  So with all the money they are accumulating from extraordinary tax breaks given by our Right Wing polls, they are discovering even more ways to lay off mote workers and not REPEAT not actively pursuing increasing job opportunities for living, breathing worker. 


Here comes another one.  "If you raise taxes, you will create even more unemployment."  We listen to this one about twenty times a day.  I'll make this one short since it speaks for itself.  Under the leadership President Clinton, 31 million new jobs were created even though President Clinton, against the wishes of his Republican Congress, raised taxes three times and still managed to leave office with a huge cash surplus.              George Bush Jr., in the period time, eight years, created only three million new jobs while decreasing taxes on almost everyone but especially the wealthy.   That's 28 million fewer jobs for my mathematically challenged friends, and he did this with a virtual blank checkbook afforded him by his right wing majority congressional support.  This once again brings into question the whole idea of giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy to allegedly spur job growth. 


"What these country needs is a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution."

 Americans do not live by the concept of a balanced budget but folks in the Tea Party goof balls will try to convince you that we do.  If you are making payments on a house, car, school loan or credit card account, you NOT living within the precepts of a balanced budget.  Actually latest statistics show that over 50% of all Americans are three pay checks away from being homeless.  In other words, if they stopped receiving their weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paychecks for the next three pay periods, they would face fiscal destruction.  So much for living on a balanced budget.  Now let's look at the Federal Government attempting live with the fact that 3/4th of the entire United States agrees with the idea of a balanced budget in the US.  Things might seem serene and uncomplicated for a week or two but the first shot fired across our bow by and enemy force will destroy all of those nice warm and fuzzies.  Under a balanced budget, where does the Government come up with a sudden expense of about a billion dollars a day to execute our sudden armed conflict?  How about a Katrina sized hurricane, BP oil leak, awarm of mid-West tornados and similar "acts of God."  Where does the money come from to handle these I internal emergencies?  How about another round of Wall Street greed and monetary mis-management.  Whose going to pay the bill for another round of that type of mess?  


OK…put your English grammar books away and take out your Grimm's Fairy Tales and rejoin the world monstrous headlines just oozing mis-information downright lies.  Sleep well tonight knowing that people like Michelle Bachman really do believe they can actually lead this country.  She has obviously been reading too many fairy tales.    


I'm done now…

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Class Clowns

The Class Clowns


I recall them one and all and sadly have to admit, that on some occasions, I could not resist becoming one of them.  The class clown.  Some topics were simply so boring or so poorly presented that interest just slipped away only to be replaced by silly, inane and corny comments from the "peanut gallery."  The teacher would get angry and in some of my other classes, so would I.  Not that I was ever a hard core learning nerd but some classes were simply more interesting than others and some I actually looked forward to attending.   Cheap laughs but in the end, no one was the better for the actions of these silly little boys and girls.  Keep those memories in mind as I continue with this latest of my pet peeves.


There are some places or situations where no matter who you are with or how much you are bored, you simply should not revert back to an old class clown act.  Nobody cracks wise-ass jokes in places of religious expression.  Nobody appreciates a clown at a symphony or opera.  Jokesters arte not really appreciated at funerals except in some circumstances where such outburst would be expected and encouraged by the deceased.  Keep this in mind when you attend my own final time on stage.  Go ahead, have a ball when they stash my remains. I would expect and encourage it.  The rather solemn events listed above are only several of the circumstances where outburst of silly humor and wise-ass remarks are out of place and reflect very poorly on the perpetrator.   One other solemn occasion is the active and well prepared participation in our political system.   Our system of government, with all of its warts and blemishes, came to us covered with blood and sacrifice.  Ever since the first forays onto our shores in the 14th century, men and women have risked everything to include their lives to build upon the ideas of democracy so beautifully encapsulated by a tossed together speech at a bloodsoaked battlefield given by the 16th ruler of this new nation.  Mr. Lincoln perfectly defined democracy when he noted that ours was a "government of the people, by the people and for the people.  The founding fathers could not have stated it better.  Therefore treating this wonderful institution we call Government with a flippant, destructive, abusive, libelous or with disdain not only exposes the perpetrators own personal ignorance  but insults five centuries of sacrifice by those who have continually handed off the baton to the next generation. 


When people gather to say they are organizing to take back our government, I would ask them when did they lose it?  Since they have already demonstrated a lack of teamwork by not accepting with pride the baton of our previous generations, I would ask them what gives them the right to believe they can demand that the government be torn down and replaced with something they have replaced with some joke from the back of the classroom?  Those of us who have actually sacrificed greatly on our nations battlefields find this government of ours to be quite acceptable even though its leaders may often be a bit unusual.  I personally take with a great deal of insult the presumptions of cult like party members who want to destroy something for which I was prepared to die.  Not only arte they attacking our government but they are attacking me on a personal level by intimating that I was wrong to stand my ground in far off jungles, suffer the intrusion of enemy bullets in my body, and carry with me the various diseases and maladies that my Western body was unable to counter in those far off SW Asian jungles.  I don't think I was wrong in my willingness to do my duty in the name of my country.  58,000 of my closest comrades were not wrong either.  Our cause may have been questionable but our devotion to this country was unwavering.  So please, Donald. Sarah, Hailey, Mitt, Michelle, or whoever winds up as your party's selectee, before you start showing disdain for our government, first do your homework then realize that your "class clown" antics are NOT appreciated by everyone even though you probably feel all the spotlights are on you at the time.  Some people really do believe that we should be a government of, by and for the people.  Some of us who have sacrificed in the past are still willing to sacrifice more and really do find it disconcerting to see some who are not being asked to sacrificing anything to see this nation grow strong. 







Thursday, March 10, 2011




I don't presume to think that anything I say in my blog will change anything or cause anyone to have a "gee whiz" moment.  I only know that when I write some of the things I out into my blog, at least I feel better and I guess that will have to be enough.  So without further delay here are some of the ducks nibbling at my ankles lately.


UNION BUSTING:  I am not a big union guy.  I spent 20 years in the Army and another 20 in US Civil Service so I never had much contact with union type things.  I am, on the other hand, pretty cognizant of the rather fantastic historic saga that finally enabled American workers to speak with one voice on matters that actually wound up benefitting us all.  Does anyone think that a 40 hour work week would have been the invention of management?  How about minimum wage legislation? Child labor laws?  Workplace safety?  Health care?  Pensions?  Vacations?  Do anyone really believe management was always in favor of any or all of these benefits?  Probably not.  I also know that votes taken in the dark of night without due representation are an anethema to democracy and undermine and weaken our core structures.  The type of votes being foisted upon voters on issues concerning unions are typical of votes taken by banana republic tin nickel dictators.  If the people are gathering at your doorstep to protest your actions, then as a leader, you need to reappraise the route you are taking.  The South seceded from the Union based on exactly this type of backroom voting and not based upon the universal wishes of the people.   How would we react if the next "vote" targeted anyone who did not make a certain amount of money or own real estate?  How about a "vote" concerning anyone who belongs to any group opposing pro-life issue or who seek sane gun control procedures?  Would we lose our right of access to college scholarships, pension benefits, or Federal health care.  That's how Mr. Hitler targeted any opposition groups.  "Vote" to cut off their benefits. 


TEN COMMANDMENTS IN SCHOOLS:  A few schools in my neck of the world have begun to "encourage" efforts to post the Christian Ten Commandments in schools.  So far wiser heads have prevailed especially when they learn just how much the lawsuit will cost them.  Now the kids are posting them on their lockers claiming it is their right to do so since the locker and the school belong to them and staging demonstrations during classroom hours.   First and foremost they are most certainly wrong on a number of fronts.  First and foremost, the Christian scripture enjoins its followers to pray alone and quietly so that their worship is not an excuse to flaunt their flaunt piousness.   Nothing quiet and silent about walking around the school grounds carrying posters when they should be taking advantage of the taxes I paid to give them a good education.  I want my money back.  Next, they want what they refer to as the Ten Commandments posted in schools in violation of Federal Law.  Actually the so called Ten Commandments as we know them never existed.  There were actually over 600 "Commandments" given to Moses by the Diety ranging is matters of health, slavery, marriage, forbidden foods, taboo customs, and just lots and lots of things many of which are still followed by very Orthodox Jews.  The whiley and sneaky Christians whittle those hundreds down to ten easy to follow rules only three or four of which are actually against civil law the remainder being faith based only.  If you're going to post the Commandments of the Pentateuch at least have the courtesy to post them all.   There is the issue of who actually owns the school and its properties and who actually has "rights."  The courts have fallen clearly on the side of the school and its property belonging to the taxpaying citizenery.  Not many high school teeny boppers qualify as citizens having not yet reached 18 and therefore they don't really exist in the eyes of the law.  Their lockers are not their private property as evidenced by any drug shakedown that might go on in the hallways where they will find their lockers opened and searched.  Finally, how about simple courtesy for your fellow students and school cadre who may not believe as you do and do not wish to have your beliefs shoved into their face.   I don't like NASCAR but I don't post signs in my yard telling everyone.  I don't like the British Government much either but again no signs in my yard and no bumper stickers.  Maybe our kids should concern themselves more with clean air and water but again do it on your own time and not on my taxpayer time.


TAX DISPARITIES:  I won't harp much on this one since the data is actually there for anyone to see unless being a sheep has blinded you to what is going on anywhere else except the sheep butt in front of you.  If not taxing the wealthy is a sure road to economic prosperity how come the six separate tax breaks the wealthy received under Bush II resulted in a collapse of the US economy and 10+ unemployment rates?  Why is that people making $70K and below pay well over 80% of the taxes while over 90% of the actual wealth of this nation is held by less than 3% of the population who rarely pay any taxes at all?  Why is that Congress wants to cut out NPR, Federal funded scholarships, health care, EPA issues, programs for the less fortunate etc. while awarding $700B in tax cuts to the wealthy?  Shame on us!!!


ABORTION RIGHTS:  First and foremost it is the law of the land.  That should be the end of it.  However, if the Conservatives wing of the American populace want to ignore the real issues that we face in this country to sermonize their beliefs (see a couple of paragraphs above), then at least have a woman do the sermonizing.  Abortion is not a male issue anymore than prostate disease is a female issue.  Yet, I ask you when was the last time you saw a woman deeply involved in the whole abortion issue.  When Mitch McConnell or John Boehner begin having menstrual cramps then they will have earned the right to discuss female procreation issues. 


MUSLIM HEARINGS IN CONGRESS:  What the heck does Rep. King think he is doing?  I had almost forgotten how to spell Joseph McCarthy and up pops this old IRA supporting clown from New York. I know that is there are any Muslims in America who have become disaffected, King's (et. al) hearing should suffice to tip them over the line to a full blown threat.  I have Muslim friends, but then I have conservative friend as well, so I am pretty open to differing thoughts and logic trails.  I can assure you that what King is doing has no respectable goal and will only foment hatred and mistrust and make us worse for the exercise.  Like I said, I had almost forgotten how to spell old Joe McCarthy's name. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doncha jus luv em"

Doncha just luv em"


If my conservative friends and fellow citizens were not so silly and pathetic, I could almost get upset at their rantings and ravings.  Unfortunately I find myself in the crazy position of actually being able to read and to use my own mind without the need to jump into a line of other sheep who will gladly do my thinking for me.   I just find it more to my liking to be able to first hear a story, then do a little research and then, and only then, actually use my own mind to make my own decision on whether to accept the initial story.  And….I do this without even one person forcing tea down my throat.  Here are just a few of the items I have had a chance to mull over in the last few weeks.  Please dear friends note that I am not proselytizing in the big conservative tent.  I am only voicing my own opinion without the need for sheep to follow, tea merchants, or any preconceived notions about my own superb intellect or the failing and faltering mental capabilities my dear and cherished conservative buddies.   OK, here goes:


The tragedy of 9/11 resulted in an immediate death toll of almost 3,000 of this nations citizens and non-citizens who were doing nothing more earning a living as best they could.  Now over a decade later, there is another statistics that is surprising.  In the US during this time period over 250,000 of those same citizens died as a result of the free exercise of our 2nd amendment rights to own handguns.  As a result of 9/11 Americans have been frightened into surrendering many of their personal rights and sense of privacy.  We now accept that our phone lines, computers, medical records, library records, personal mail and bank accounts are a matter of free discussion now among our Government employees, all for the loss of 3,000 of our cherished men and women.  However after a quarter million bloody deaths our answer has been to even further ease any remaining restrictions on the purchase and carrying of handguns.  In Virginia they want to allow concealed weapons in churches.  I am not sure what "protection" a citizen needs in church but if it that tough maybe they should consider another church or bible studies at home.  But, hey, as an old War Vet whose does not see the need for any weapons in my home, what the heck do I know.  


My conservative buddies see the issue of abortion to be so overwhelmingly important that in the face of financial collapse, they chose to argue the issue of direct and indirect funding for abortions to debate.  This debate goes on even as we was continue to have one a health system that now is rated right along with other third world nations (#23 in the world), failing educational preparedness for our next generation, endemic hunger for our most vulnerable citizens, the poor and the aged, collapsing infrastructure for our transportation systems, 30 million unemployed, and the list goes on…but interfering with a women's right to make her own decisions simply flies in the face of a political policy that demands lockstep allegiance for all of its policy's.  With whatever few dollars that fall out of the wallets of the very wealthy tax break recipients, I hope someone can amass enough money to at least begin to clean up our alleys.  Women will be using them a lot more in the future I fear and I would hope that they can be cleaned up a bit first. 

I saw the President's budget hit the street yesterday and literally within a matter of minutes, it was being universally attacked by my conservative buddies.  This is a document that is literally measured in pounds and not pages, yet my buddies were apparently able to speed read that multi-thousand pages of unbelievably complex mathmatics and bookkeeping jingo and to form opinions on the worth of this document all in a matter if minutes.  Yet, this is the same group if electorates that noted they were not given sufficient time to read the 2,000 pages of the health care bill with which to make a knowledgeable decision.  They only had a little over nine months and that did not seem sufficient but a document three times that size and far more complex required only minutes to completely study and research enough to make broad statements concerning the documents worth.  Ya just got to luv that kind of stupity… Oh well I am sure they have a better solution.  I mean they have had over a year to produce a solution considering that this is a document that was suppose to be submitted in September 2010 and contains the budget for fiscal year 2010-2011.  This would have been before the November 2010 elections so my liberal buddies have to share the blame but only until November.  Since then it has been all a Conservative dog and pony show and I am sure they have their own budget document ready to go…What's that – They Don't.  I mean they have had over a year.  Well when will they be ready to submit a budget for the year that is almost half gone now?  According to the good old boy in the GOP – look for it around April.   That's pretty good since three months after that, the budget for 2012 will be due.  Good luck Tea Party girls and boys.  But heck since most of you newbies are sleeping on cots in your office you should have plenty of time on your hands.  Now there is dignity for you – a cot in a Federal building…Tough living on $176,400 a year plus benefits. 


But like I said…these are only my opinions and unlike my conservative friends, they reflect my thoughts and my thoughts only…no poking from the sidelines or cue cards in the back row.