Monday, April 06, 2015

Back in the saddle...

It’s been over 3 years since I posted here. I found another blog by almost the same name, same topic & it was so much better that I thought I should change the name & take a different direction. It took a little while to find that direction, but I believe I’ve found an azimuth I can follow.

Have been busy posting on & participating in a couple Facebook pages that are beginning to have some impact, which is cool. Have gotten involved much more in local politics. The old saying is, if you don’t vote, you can’t really complain. Well, I’ve always voted & I’d been doing some complaining, mostly online. Decided that complaining wasn’t a particularly effective way to get things changed, so I decided to get my feet wet in politics. I’m not the type to run for any major or even minor political office, but really like working in the background, so that’s where I’ve put my marbles.

What I’ve found is there are lots of things I can comment upon & post & rant about in the Facebook & Twitter arenas, but there are a lot of things I can’t do there as well. This has led me back to my blog.

Now it has a new name & a bit more specific direction. What you’ll read here has nothing to do with any position I hold. These are my personal opinions & mine alone & not always the ones I take with me to do what I do.

People often believe you cannot separate your personal view from those you take when holding an office or position. People who can’t do that, probably shouldn’t be in political or business positions of influence. Why? Because when you hold a position such as that, your motives for doing that job should absolutely be different than those you hold personally. Granted, they should/could be similar, but not exactly the same. What benefits me as an individual differs from what benefits my organization/business.

Decisions I make as a husband & father would differ radically from those I would make as a team/squad/platoon/first sergeant in the Army. Those in turn, would differ from what I would do as a business owner/manager. Why? Because the end goals are different. You have to do what is best for job you are current doing, not what benefits you as an individual.

Many in Congress or who work in government are unable to do this. They do what benefits themselves as an individual. That makes them completely unqualified for their job. Obama is the classic & maybe best example. He clearly isn’t doing & making decisions that benefit the citizens of the United States or the country as a whole. His goals & decision making are clearly self-centered. He is more concerned with his personal goals than making the U.S. better or protecting our interests.

He is selfish. Only his wife is more selfish than he. The best leaders are selfless. In fact, Obama isn’t a leader at all.

Obama is only about Obama.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell, don't experiment!

It is clear from the decision to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this liberal Congress & Whitehouse have no clue about how the front line military works. The military is not a social experiment, despite what the moderates and liberals have done for years. The homosexual lifestyle and combat arms not compatible, no matter how much a political group wants it to be. We’re not talking about a failed experiment where something doesn’t get accomplished or a goal isn’t met. We’re talking about where this failure of concept means people die, possibly many people. That, in turn, also mean battles will be lost which leads to wars being lost. How? Let me explain.

Let’s look at why women are not allowed to serve in combat arms. Aside from the fact women are susceptible to types of torture when captured that men are not, there’s the social/male/female interaction factor. If men and women serve in the front lines together, the possibility of relationships between those men and women is highly likely. Those types of relationships and the breakdown of those relationships interfere with the function of the closely knit combat units. Trust between these soldiers, sailors, operators, etc. is mission critical and can mean life or death. You put your life in the hands of those in your small unit and in those who support your unit. There is no room for personal relationships between these men and women. Leadership must be absolute and often decisions must be made in a split second and must be almost instinctual.

Personal relationships between men and women in the same unit clouds judgment, impairs thinking, and undermines authority. I’ve personally witnessed this in non-combat units where split second decisions do not have to be made. Even when there is time to analyze decisions, those decisions are often poor and ill advised. This is why many businesses prohibit personal relationships between employees.

In the same way, having homosexuals in a front line combat unit, destroys the function of the small that unit. If one soldier is more concerned about another individual soldier than other soldiers, thinking becomes clouded, judgment impaired, trust is lost and cohesion fails. Without these you have a group of disparate individuals instead of single unit. They cannot function as a single entity, thus becoming useless for military purposes. Even outside the military the stable homosexual relationship is a rare thing. How can an unstable relationship contribute to stability within the small unit?

The facets of military life affected by homosexuality that the liberal mindset ignores are morals and discipline. Even many conservative civilians have trouble truly grasping the meaning of morals and discipline. These are highly important precepts of military service that are often minimalized or completely discounted by civilians, especially left leaning civilians. The homosexual lifestyle is completely counter to these two aspects. Homosexuality in and of itself questions and disparages the very morals and discipline the military holds in high regard. How does the military function when told to disregard two of its most important principles when it comes to certain individuals? It cannot nor should it be expected to.

Lastly, Congress and the Whitehouse are failing to see the retribution incidents that will happen. Homosexuals in combat units will disrupt the morale of the unit and the responses will be both overt and subtle. Minor harassment will be the norm. There will be overt violence against homosexuals which the military will have to take severe disciplinary action against. The result from that will be an increase in combat and training “accidents” involving homosexuals. These overt and subtle incidents are precisely why homosexuals have previously been banned from military service. Then the military will have to institute sensitivity training which will increase the resentment and the problems will continue to escalate. The morale will continue to deteriorate. Problems not anticipated will arise. The path ahead is unclear and not good.

I hope I am wrong, but am pretty certain I am not. This is a dangerous path the U.S. Congress and Whitehouse are taking. It is clear they do not understand the U.S. military and it is clear they do not want to understand it. This isn’t like trying to make to high school boys get along or like desegregation. They are trying to force two disparate groups to integrate and the results are not going to be good. This will create problems, not solve them. The resulting problems will be much larger than anyone imagines… except those of us who’ve served in combat units and understand what is at stake here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fox News, get a clue!

I generally find no need to criticize Fox News, but today is different. If you haven't, please read this article from Fox News.

Fox News needs to check up on their own employee, Diane Macedo. This is so much of a non-story it is pathetic. Maybe she's a plant from CNN, NBC or the Whitehouse trying to discredit Fox News. Nah. Probably not.

Either way, I'm astonished that Fox News let this run without checking with a real gunsmith or at least someone with some serious firearms experience. You have to consider the source of the story--the Bureau of Tobacco, Alchohol, Firearms & Explosives. After all, the ATF does fall under Eric "As-clueless-as-my-boss-as-to-how-to-do-my-job" Holder.

Even the premise is flawed. This story is designed to stir up the ignorant & prey on their lack of knowledge. That is about all that it accomplishes. Anyone with reasonable knowledge of firearms knows that just because you can replace one part of a toy with a real, regulated firearm part, doesn't make that toy a real firearm. Doing so would accomplish nothing. It still would not fire. In fact, by the time one replaced enough parts to make it work, one would be better off just buying a real AR-15. Buying a black market AR-15 through a Mexican drug cartel or from a gang banger would be faster, safer & easier & doing so qualifies as neither fast, safe or easy.

Why, you ask, would one risk ones life to go to the trouble of buying a black market AR-15 instead of converting a toy? If a person were foolish enough to replace the lower receiver of an airsoft AR-15 with a receiver of a real AR-15, the upper half is still incapable of chambering, firing & surviving the firing of a live .223cal/5.56mm round. The two halves of the mechanism are meant to function together. It is kind of like a baseball & a baseball bat. If you try to hit a real baseball with a wiffleball bat, all you will do is destroy the wiffleball bat. Or conversely, if you hit a wiffleball with a real baseball bat, you will destroy the wiffleball. The two are meant to work together. In the case of the airsoft AR-15, unlike the real ball & the toy bat, it very well could & probably will blow up in your face. In dealing with firearms, one of the first things that is taught, is never to put ammunition into something that the particular ammunition was not designed for. There are folks out there who have done this & lost fingers, hands, limbs & lives.

The barrel on a real AR-15 is designed to handle the high pressure of real ammunition. The barrel of an airsoft AR-15 is not. A firearm functions by igniting a small amount of powder inside a metal cartridge in a confined area (the chamber), funneling that controlled expansion down a barrel to push a 5.56mm metal projectile (the bullet) at a high velocity to a known point down range from the firearm. The metal cartridge, by itself, is incapable of retaining these high pressures. It simply holds the components together. An airsoft AR-15 uses low pressure compressed gas, to propel a 6 or 8mm plastic ball down the barrel in the same manner, but is incapable of retaining the same chamber pressures as real AR-15. Also, a real bullet propelled down the barrel of an airsoft AR-15 using live ammunition could rupture the barrel or send the bullet off in an unintended direction. An airsoft upper receiver is not designed to handle the backwards push resulting from chamber pressure of a live round. Such a backward thrust could explode driving parts & pieces of the airsoft into the shooters face, killing or severly injuring the shooter. The similarity between an airsoft AR-15 & a real AR-15 is purely cosmetic. Internally they are completely different.

Its clear Diane has little or no knowledge of firearms. Next time, Diane, you should leave such a story to someone with more expertise than you or like a good reporter, educate yourself thoroughly. Fox News editors, do you job.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Mourning the Wrong People

What is it with the people of the U.S.? People mourn over those who've sacrificed little or nothing for this country. Why don't people pay money to mourn a soldier who gave his all for us in Iraq? Why don't people build memorials to a medic who died in Afghanistan caring for a sick kid? Why don't people call all their friends and lament when a journalist is captured and beheaded by sickos who call themselves righteous, when in fact they are evil and twisted.

Why? Because people in this country take for granted all the freedoms they have! They believe they deserve the right to say what they want, work where they want, get medical care anytime they want, listen to the music they want, buy any house they want, vote for whoever they want, and on and on and on. What they don't realize is someone else paid a price for them to do that. Many someones. Those people who paid that price are other people's grandfathers, fathers, sons, uncles, brothers, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts & sisters. Many of those family DON'T take for granted what they have.

People need to be thankful for those freedoms. They need to mourn those who gave that freedom to them. Mourn those soldiers at Valley Forge, Fort Sumpter, Gettysburg and Shiloh, in the trenches of France, at Omaha Beach, Pointe Du Hoc and Cabanatuan, at the Chosin Valley, in the jungles of Vietnam, on the air fields of Grenada, on the streets of Panama, in the slums of Mogadishu, along the roads of Iraq & the mountains of Afghanistan. Mourn those who sacrificed life, limbs, sight, hearing, minds and futures. This country doesn't need a day or two to remember them, we need to take a week, a month or a year to remember the countless soldiers who sacrificed entire generations of descendants just so you can waste your time fretting over just another man who made music.

We need to remember the important people. They aren't in Hollywood and Motown or the recording studio. The people I'd pay money to mourn have little crosses on the hills of Normandy or at Arlington. THAT'S who I'd pay to mourn.

Never forget!

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

When Forever Comes

You know, it’s funny. I always knew this day would come, yet somehow I thought it never would. Let me explain…

Thirteen years ago my wife, my daughters and I drove to Topeka, Kansas to pick up a tiny blue heeler puppy who had more attitude than you could possibly cram in that tiny 4½ week old body. For that matter, there was more attitude than should have fit in her old adult body we laid to rest today. But it was that attitude that appealed to me when we looked over a litter of pups a couple of weeks prior to that day in Topeka. That attitude turned her into a dog that would take on a bull or cow that was 20-30 times bigger than her and was truly bigger than life.

Thirteen years ago I was the third year into a 24/7 headache that I still have today after 16½ years. Trouble was, I was not doing too well in dealing with it. On a scale of 1 to 10, my headache, since January 1993, has never been better than a five. At that time, it would get so bad I would have trouble sleeping for days at a time and the headache would be in excess of an eight for weeks at a time. I could take nothing for it as medication only made it worse. I’d tried every treatment that made any sense at all and a few that didn’t. I was unable to work. During any given month, I was fairly non-functional 10-15 days. I was struggling to get through life and trying to raise two young daughters while my wife worked.

We then decided to get another heeler (Australian Cattle Dog). It’d been 3½ years since we’d had a heeler and we thought it might be a good distraction from the headache. While this would seem counterintuitive to some, when you’re dealing with a headache that makes a migraine look like a walk-in-the-park by comparison, it makes sense. You have to find something else to focus on besides the headache. The girls were spending all or part of their days in school and I had time alone I needed to fill.

We also thought that this puppy could grow up with the girls and they could learn something about raising and training a dog. We were more right about that than we could have imagined as we’d later find out when both girls got heelers of their own.

That puppy, Matilda Jillaroo or Mattie, was just exactly what I needed. I found I had a new outlook on life. The headache did improve a bit over time, although not much at first. She provided unconditional love that seemed to increase as my headache worsened. She seemed to know when I needed cheering up like no one or nothing else could do. She would pull some antic or stunt that would make me feel better, even though my headache had not improved.

Some days it was simply her form of a “hug.” She would walk up to me, put her head down and beginning pushing, like a bull against a tree, wildly wagging her tail. It became her trademark that she employed until her very last day. If I wasn’t ready for it, she could push me over, despite her not being a very big dog. But it held all the warmth and love you could every get from a big warm bear hug from your kids.

Those began some much better days for me after some very bad days when I occasionally considered eating a bullet to stop the pain. I never considered it too seriously because I couldn’t bear the thought that my wife would have to explain to our girls why daddy was no longer around. Little girls need a daddy, no matter how broken he is, to help them grow up. But it seemed I didn’t have those kinds of thoughts any longer once Mattie came around.

I began to think this blue heeler would be around forever to help me through my headache. She became fixture in our house and for a long time in the seat next to me when driving. She stayed with the girls in the truck or Jeep for short periods when I had to run errands when their momma was working. In my heart it seemed she’d be around forever, but my head knew that wasn’t the case.

In her last days I was able to return some of the favors she'd heaped upon me. Mattie had bad knees, even after surgeries when she was much younger. She'd impossibly survived having her head run over by a diesel pickup that would've killed any other dog. Although that incident changed her personality, she became more loving and softer of will, she didn’t lose her strength of will. She suffered a broken front paw in that incident and now had calcium build-up from the too-late discovered fracture. She was virtually blind from cataracts and mostly deaf. She let me do many things for her she'd have never allowed when she was younger. She required medication several times per day to provide relief from reverse sneezing. She’d willingly drag her old body to the kitchen 3-4 times per day so I could give her something to keep the congestion at bay.

She never lost her ability to have fun and entertain, although it happened much less often. She still loved to chase after and bark at the younger and faster heelers, although now it had to be done from atop the fuel tank of the ATV in front of me. She was still the alpha dog, although no longer able to enforce it, the other dogs still gave her the respect. She was still able to “kill” the rubber ball or the “Kong” despite her age and health. She “killed” it just as thoroughly as always, although a lot less often and had no compunction about stealing a toy or bone from one of the younger dogs using guile or cussedness instead of speed or stealth.

Today, my heart is finally beginning to catch up with my head. I know she’s gone now and I have a huge hole in my heart—so I know it’s true. Until this morning, my heart didn’t really think that was possible. It’ll take some time to close that hole, but it’ll never close completely.

I miss and love you Blue Dog. Thanks for being my buddy for all those years.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Republican's Turn to Grow a Spine

OK, we know Obama needs to grow a backbone.

Now the GOP needs to grow a backbone. No one respects anyone who has no wherewithall to stand up to someone and the GOP in Congress are doing just that. Stand up to Obama. You may not have the votes, but you do have a voice. C'mon people, y'all know Sotomayor is a REALLY BAD choice for the SCOTUS. Stand up to Obama and filibuster this nominee. Make sure every voter in the U.S. knows just exactly who and what she is. She's made public statements that absolutely disqualify her for a seat on the Supremes--she shouldn't even be on the appeals court now. The same statements made by a conservative would create a firestorm and the Drive By's are ignoring or even praising these public opines.

The GOP will not regain Congress until they decide to quit acting like the moderates the media desperately wants them to be. Look where Reagan took us--from being out of power for 4 decades to the Whitehouse and control of both houses of Congress. Quit being squeamish and stand up for what you know is right. You have principles. Let the voting public know where you stand and stick to it. Don't cave now.

Stop letting the media speak for you. Stand up and be the conservatives you really are. If you can't do that, then maybe the GOP doesn't deserve to be in power.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Where's Our Strength?

I'm reading the news this morning and thinking that what is going on lately would never have occurred while Presidents Reagan and Bush were in office. The little yappy dog that runs North Korea would've never detonated an underground nuke and the psycho that fronts Iran wouldn't be thumbing his nose at U.S. nuke demands.

Instead we have a president who BOWS to other leaders and greets thug dictators like they are his new best friend. C'mon Obama, grow a backbone. At least try to show you aren't the spineless weanie we all already know you are. On this Memorial Day, I'm ashamed of our president. I'm ashamed for all those who've given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and the freedom of countless other around the world. I'm ashamed of the apologies you keep issuing for our past shows of strength.

At least try to give a modicum of strength to the office of the President of the United States. So far, you haven't shown you are worthy of office you've been so graciously given. Please try a little harder. No, please try a lot harder.