I've put off posting on this subject for a bit. I've been trying to come to terms with myself. You see my old unit, now called HHC 116th IBCT, left the armory for deployment on the 3rd of May 2007. I was sorry to see them go but glad I wasn't with them. My problem isn't that I'm relieved I didn't go. After all, I'm 53 years old. I think that's really too old for an infantryman even though they've been out there in the past and current conflict. I also feel that I gave God, the Fates, or whomever you care to blame/credit with running the world 27½ years of opportunity to put my butt in harm's way.
Oh, I know I might just be in more danger here. After all we've had a drive-by shooting right in front of the house (unsolved) and a fugitive hiding out on the front porch (caught now but he was armed as the chase began and the wife was in the backyard. The neighborhood seems to be going down hill with more trash thrown in the yard, and more frequent incidents such as those I just mentioned. But I've no desire to be constantly thinking that I need to watch out for having folks for whom I'm responsible.
After 27½ years one of the downsides is that you get more and more responsibility. Not just for things though, one is responsible for people, too. I'm not really excited about the need to write consolation letters home to family members. I understand that a Virginia Guard member was killed by an IED in Iraq recently. I'm glad I didn't have to write his family.
Strawman in progress...
This is really old. I found it in my drafts that I never got around to posting. The main thing for me is that it points up how, with all the conflicting and stupid gun laws we have, even Mrs. Brady can't buy a rifle for her son as a birthday present without running afoul of some law or another. I doubt she "gets it" yet, but she should have. One thing for sure it shows me what a twit she is for being unable to learn from her experience.
Sarah Brady Fiasco : Possibly broke Deleware law, but not Federal Law.
According to her book, the store ran federal Brady Law and state background checks with much ado. But the book suggests she did not have her son checked, as required by Delaware law.Delaware Justice Department spokeswoman Lori Sitler said the purchase could be illegal if Mrs. Brady did not say who she was buying the gun for and submit his "name, rank and serial number" for an inquiry."You can't purchase a gun for someone else," Sitler told the Daily News. "That would be a 'straw purchase.' You've got a problem right there."
In United States v. Dollar (25 F.Supp.2d 1320), Judge U. W. Clemon explained that the brother and sister defendants had sold guns out of their store from 1990 to 1994. The judge noted that the law against straw purchases is based on the 1968 federal statute making it unlawful "for any person in connection with the acquisition of a firearm from a … licensed dealer" to "knowingly make any false or fictitious oral or written statement … intended or likely to deceive such … dealer … with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale …" (18 U.S. Code 92(a)(6)). Thus, if John Jones cannot lawfully buy a gun (e.g., he is a convicted felon), and if Sam Straw (who has a clean record) buys a gun from a gun store for the purpose of giving the gun to Jones, then Sam Straw has committed a "straw purchase" and can be sent to federal prison. If the licensed firearms dealer is complicit in the straw purchase, then the dealer is also guilty of a crime.
The federal courts are split on whether it's a crime for a dealer to sell a gun to a person whom the dealer thinks is an illegal buyer, but who is actually a legal buyer. Contrast United States v. Plyman (551 F.2d 965 [5th Circuit, 1977]), which argued that it is not a crime to sell to a legal, in-state buyer who falsely claimed to be an illegal, out-of-state buyer, with United States v. Colichhio (470 F.2d 977 [4th Circuit, 1972]), which found that such a sale is a crime. http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel060903.asp
In 1980, the BATF published written guidelines for firearms dealers, detailing the meaning of "Straw Man Transaction." The BATF explained that it was all right for one person to purchase a gun on behalf of a second person, "as long as the ultimate recipient is not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm." In 1984 and 1988, BATF published similar guidelines."Clarification of 'Straw Man Transaction' (79-10)""The term 'Straw Man Transactions' may be familiar to you. If not, we believe it would be helpful to you to explain what *1324 'Straw Man Transactions' are and offer some guidance concerning this type of transaction."Straw Man Transactions" are of two basic types, each of which involves a 'third party' sale. In the first type, the dealer may have reason to believe that the person who executes the Form 4473 is being used as a conduit to make an illegal sale to a person prohibited by the Gun Control Act from purchasing a firearm. For instance, a dealer may be approached by a potential purchaser who, when asked to identify himself, produces out-of-State identification or identifies himself as a felon. When the dealer informs the individual that he cannot sell to him because he is an out-of-State resident or a felon, the individual produces a friend who is eligible to purchase. The friend ('Straw Man') is then used as the purchaser ofrecord when it is obvious that the actual recipient is a prohibited person."The second type of 'Straw Man Transaction' is similar to the first. However, in this instance, it is the dealer himself who suggests to the potential purchaser that a third party be used to effect the sale and such a sale is completed. "The Gun Control Act of 1968 does not necessarily prohibit a dealer from making a sale to a person who is actually purchasing the firearm for another person. It makes no difference that the dealer knows that the purchaser will later transfer the firearm to another person, so long as the ultimate recipient is not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm. A dealer may lawfully sell a firearm to a parent or guardian who is purchasing it for a minor child. The minor's subsequent receipt or possession of the firearm would not violate Federal law, even though the law does prohibit a dealer's direct sale to the underage person."What the Act forbids is the sale or delivery of a firearm to a person the licensee knows or has reason to believe is a person to whom a firearm may not be sold (e.g., a nonresident or a felon) or to a person the licensee knows will transfer the firearm to a person prohibited from receiving or possessing it."A firearms licensee runs the risk of violating the law when he becomes involved in a transaction where it is apparent that the purchaser of record is merely being used to disguise the actual sale to another person, who could not personally make the purchase or is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm."Where the dealer knowingly utilizes this technique to sell a firearm to a prohibited person, both he and the 'third person' or 'Straw Man' are placed in a position of unlawfully aiding the prohibited person's own violation. "We realize that this circular is quite general in tone. The best advice we can give is that the dealer should be sure to have Form 4473 completed by the person to whom the dealer is actually selling the firearms; and if the dealer has any reason to believe the firearm is being acquired for a prohibited person, he should avoid the transaction.Federal Regulations of Firearms and Ammunition, ATF P 5300.12 (11/80)In 1995, BATF changed the guidance, and instructed dealers that a straw purchase also includes sales in which both the initial buyer and the ultimate recipient could legally purchase and possess firearms – EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF ACTUAL GIFTS. http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/geninfo.pdf 16. "STRAW PURCHASES" Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises is located.
Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee. In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm.
In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form.
It is immaterial that the actual purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms from the licensee.
An example of an illegal straw purchase is as follows: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. If Mr. Jones fills out Form 4473, he violates the law by falsely stating that he is the actual buyer of the firearm. Mr. Smith also violates the law because he has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of false statements on the form.
Where a person purchases a firearm with the intent of making a gift of the firearm to another person, the person making the purchase is indeed the true purchaser. There is no straw purchaser in these instances. In the above example, if Mr. Jones had bought a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Smith as a birthday present, Mr. Jones could lawfully have completed Form 4473. The use of gift certificates would also not fall within the category of straw purchases. The person redeeming the gift certificate would be the actual purchaser of the firearm and would be properly reflected as such in the dealer's records.
Loreena McKennittI am a fan of this angelic voice. Miss McKennitt's instrument calms me and makes sometimes difficult moments bearable. She is, if you haven't already figured it out, one of my favorite singers.
From her company site:
Born in the province of Manitoba, Canada, Loreena moved to Stratford, Ontario, Canada in 1981, where she still resides. She has acted and sung in, and composed music for, Stratford Festival of Canada productions ranging from The Tempest (1982) to The Merchant Of Venice (2001).
Her recording career began in 1985 with the album Elemental. In the fledgling years of her label Quinlan Road, Loreena ran its operations from her kitchen table, selling recordings by mail order and producing her own concert tours across the country. Quinlan Road's catalogue is currently distributed around the world by The Verve Music Group (US), Universal Music (Canada and other territories including Italy and Spain) and a number of independents including Keltia Music (France) and SPV (Germany).
Loreena continues to manage her career from her Stratford base. An active member of her community, she has founded and oversees important charitable undertakings in the fields of water safety and family/childhood support services.
Ponderings of the Aging - Part IIThis aging man will pick up right where he left off...
One of my fonder friends from this period was Janet Lohr Morgan. Shown here in the first photo (third from the viewers left) in her final year at Grinnell College (1974). Janet was a fun person, up for anything (heck, she was living on the economy, non-command sponsored in rural Korea in 1975!). I think I got a letter from her about the time I re-married but I've misplaced it (arrrrgghhh). If I remember correctly she and Tom are divorced. This is one of those letters to which I inadequately responded. I think I must have left the impression that I wasn't interested in maintaining contact since she's never written again. Interestingly, I've never heard from her husband, my co-worker and fellow student of Chinese (Mandarin) Tom...
I have another photo, not shown here because the scanner is down. Janet is on the left in this second photo and on the right, to Janet's left, is my now ex-wife (but then fiancee) outside the apartment Janet and her husband Tom had in AnJong-ni. I am fairly certain that the photo was taken in late October or early November of 1975. I left Korea in December 1975 for Fort Ord, California and retraining. In the time since then we've both been divorced and I have been remarried for nearly 23 years. I've no idea what happened to her but I pray that she has had a good life.
I don't have a photo of my buddy through language school (Defense Language Institute-West Coast, Monterey, California) Perry Fuller, but he's on the net. I have some fond memories including one of hunting quail just outside of San Angelo, Texas and his lovely and gracious wife cooking up the one and only bird we brought to bag. Good folks there.
I'd best pause for now, too many memories at one time...
Some friends of mine pointed out that in the War of Northern Agression this was a propaganda tool. So was "Dixie". I grew up singing (not well) both these songs as I moved from West Virginia to Kentucky to Virginia with my "yankee" parents. Both mean a lot to me. Both songs deal with bigger things. I think now we've come to a time when we can think of them in light of the current war.
I'd like to post a good link to or video of "Dixie" but I can't find one!
Is it TEOTWAWKI?
Is it The End of the World as We Know It? China is sucking up world commodities, Russia with Czar Putin is allied with Iran, oil is $119 a barrel (or more), cereal grains (rice, corn & wheat) are in shortage such that major sellers are rationing their supplies and people are hoarding, and the dollar is nearly as weak as it has ever been. What do you think? What are you going to do?
If you want to hoard some food of your own, there's a handy calculator to figure out what you need to get. You'll likely need a basic cookbook, too, as none of this is processed foods.
Want to hoard ammo? Get all the .22 LR you can afford and get a .22 LR gun if you don't have one.
Might want to buy some warm clothing for next winter and maybe a wood stove (or move to a place that has one). Might also want to get a bicycle (do you know how long it takes to walk ANYWHERE?).
Think I'm out of my gourd? If you lived through Y2K or bomb shelters you might think so. If you've lived through the aftermath of a hurricane or the great depression or WWII and rationing you might not think so. Whatever.
Ponderings of the AgingOh, I had a good post as I sat on the toilet last night. Now, however, I will be doing well indeed to approach the quality of reason and thought that shined so brilliantly in the light reflected from the white bead board and mirror of my bathroom just a few hours ago.
Recently, I was visiting my mother and took the opportunity to re-visit her photograph collection on the odd chance that she would remember the unlabeled people and/or places which seem to populate every old collection of photos. Once upon a time, when we weren't so inundated with varied entertainments, people looked at family photos and recited the the information about each one as though it was a catechism. Unfortunately the last time I did that was some 30 or more years ago and so I was making the effort, if late, to catch up my knowledge.
Somehow the fates intervened and the first photos I pulled from the cabinet's deep drawer were of myself, my ex-wife, our children, and our friends in Korea in 1975 and 1978. I hadn't seen these in a long time and these photos made quite an impression. It is hard to believe that I looked like that 35 years ago. Harder to believe are the choices I made vis-a-vis my personal relationships during those years. Things certainly were different then.
You see, I'd mailed these photos to my parents by way of, at first, introducing them to my friends and my fiancee. There was no e-mail, phone calls from overseas were expensive, MARS calls hard to schedule and so mail, actual written letters, hand written (hard to get a typewriter), were the method of communication. It would often take 2 weeks for a letter to wend its way from the ROK to Virginia and an answer might not be seen for 6 weeks or longer. So, I'd taken the photos, had them developed and written short descriptive explanations on the reverse before sending them to my parents.
When I saw them again the only thing that came to mind was, "just how stupid could I be?" While my handwriting (actually printing) was much better then than now, the content was inane. Particularly offensive, and soon abandoned, was the attempt by my Korean fiancee to use an "American" (i.e. English) name. In her case it was "Anne" and our mutual friend and my supervisor's fiancee's choice was "Julie". Thankfully those self-demeaning and inappropriate names were soon dropped but they were recorded for posterity on my photos.
What has happened to some of those depicted in the photos isn't all mystery. I do know what followed for certain. Verne H________ went on to retire as a 1st Sergeant and presumably still works in our old field or one related. His fiancee did become his wife and then 'ex' and his children are probably successful. He's remarried, happily I think, but I never hear from him. Verne was sort of an older brother and probably prevented my making of more stupid mistakes than I had done. Of his fiancee I don't know a thing. I think that ChongAe returned to Korea but I'm not certain of this.
I don't even know if any of this is important, but I can't help but think about it... More tomorrow.
Welcome Home 3d Battalion 116th IBCT
They actually arrived home yesterday. Thanks guys. You done good.
April 22, 2008
Charlottesville, Leesburg and Woodstock area Va. Guard Soldiers return from Iraq
Soldiers from infantry companies headquartered in Charlottesville, Leesburg and Woodstock assigned to 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team returned to the United States April 20 and 21 after serving in Iraq and Kuwait since September 2007. The Soldiers flew into the demobilization station of Camp Shelby, Miss., and will conduct a number of different administrative activities to transition from active duty back into traditional National Guard status prior to returning back to Virginia. Approximately 150 Soldiers are assigned to each company.
The units will spend four or five days at Camp Shelby, but the exact arrival date for their return back to Virginia has not been determined at this time. The Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office will issue a follow up advisory once the return date has been set.
All three infantry companies were assigned to convoy escort duty in Iraq and had numerous enemy engagements via improvised explosive devices, small arms fire and complex ambushes. A and B Companies operated in Al Anbar Province or Multinational Division West. A Company operated and in some of the most dangerous areas in Iraq to include Fallujah and Ramadi, and B Company operated in hot spots west of the Euphrates River and the far western portions of Iraq near the Syrian border.
C Company provided convoy escort in Multi-National Division North and operated in some of the more recent danger areas around Mosul and Kirkuk. Nine of the 10 Soldiers wounded in action from the battalion were from C Company. The battalion had no fatalities.
In addition to the three infantry companies, the Battalion is made up of approximately 100 Soldiers from the Winchester-based Headquarters Company, approximately 125 Soldiers from Fredericksburg-based D Company and approximately 125 Soldiers from Fredericksburg-based F Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion. These three units will return to the USA in the coming weeks. Additional information about their return will be provided once the units have landed at their demobilization station.
Additional Background Information on 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry
The 3rd Battalion, 116 Infantry, also referred to as Task Force Normandy, was alerted Feb. 3, 2007 for mobilization and overseas deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This alert came 19 months after the battalion returned from Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion entered active duty in late June 2007 for mobilization training prior to leaving the United States.
In the span of four months, the unit was able to staff and equip the battalion for the mission, calling upon Soldiers and equipment from 42 different units across the Commonwealth to form the largest battalion task force the Virginia National Guard has mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror. The battalion numbered nearly 800 Soldiers when the embarked upon their mission.
The battalion's deployment was also the first time a Virginia National Guard rifle battalion ever deployed from Virginia with the new organizational structure of the Army’s new modular brigade system.
The battalion deployed with its Headquarters Company, three rifle companies, (A, B and C Companies), a special weapons company (D Company) and a forward support company (F Company).
While at the mobilization station, Camp Shelby, Miss., the battalion was unexpectedly forced to accelerate the deployment timeline for two of its six companies. Due to urgent needs in Iraq and in support of the troop surge, A Company and C Company were required to accelerate their training timeline in order to arrive in theater to begin combat operations.
Both A and C companies successfully completed six back-to-back collective training exercises with no rest in between.
“These exercises were physically and mentally intensive ranging from mounted combat patrols to urban warfare,” said Lt. Col. John Epperly, commander of 3rd Battalion. “This is significant because the change from light infantry to mounted warfare represented a significantly new way of fighting for these Soldiers and one which they had never been trained in previously Fire teams and squads were re-organized into gun truck crews and trained in new tactics, techniques and procedures for mounted convoy escort. Under intense time pressure, both A and C companies validated for deployment and departed the United States on time under the new schedule.”
Upon departure from mobilization station, Task Force Normandy deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait. The three rifle companies were assigned to convoy escort duty in Iraq. Each rifle company was assigned to a Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and provided convoy escort to an area of operations ranging from 750 to 1,000 square kilometers.
Headquarters Company, D Company and F Company were assigned to Security Force (SECFOR) missions in Kuwait. D Company provided protection to the strategically important deepwater port at Ash Shuaybah. F Company provided port security at Kuwait Naval Base and protection to ammunition sustainment operations and re-deploying coalition forces at Kuwait Naval Base. The Headquarters Company provided command and control to the battalion's port security missions as well as the Area Reaction Force for all of southern Kuwait, an area that covered over 6000 square kilometers of battlespace known as SECFOR South.
“During its time in Kuwait and Iraq, 3rd Battalion was integral to the success of several operations, events and activities,” Epperly said. “The units stationed in Kuwait made significant gains and innovations in securing critical infrastructure vital to the war effort in all of southwest Asia.”
For a period of over 8 months, Headquarters Company, D and F companies, in concert with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadrons 5 and 21, provided joint security to the two strategic deepwater ports in Kuwait. “These ports were absolutely critical to the entire coalition war effort in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan since over 95% of all supplies coming into theater used these ports,” Epperly said.
While securing these ports, the battalion searched over 100,000 vehicles and 300,000 people without disruption to the ports. The battalion's local combat patrols around the port facilities logged over 10,000 vehicle hours without a serious incident. The battalion also secured the loading and unloading of over 8,000 combat vehicles as several brigade combat teams flowed into and out of Iraq.
The Headquarters Company provided an Area Response Force for all of southern Kuwait. Soldiers provided personal security detachments for distinguished visitors and aerial quick reaction forces for both the President's and First Lady's visits. They worked in a joint security environment with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadrons 5 and 21 as well as the Air Force's 586th Expeditionary Warfare Group.
D Company provided fixed site security and a Quick Reaction Force for the Seaport of Debarkation at Ash Shuaybah, Kuwait. This is the theater logistics center of gravity because over 90% of supplies for the warfights in Iraq and Afghanistan flow through this port. Delta's mission had strategic implications. They also worked in a joint security environment with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadrons 5 and 21 as well as the Air Force's 586th Expeditionary Warfare Group.
F Company provided fixed site security and Quick Reaction Force for Kuwait Naval Base. Their mission secured the Naval Base where all ammunition enters the theater. Further, they secured the deployment and re-deployment of five Marine Expeditionary Groups. They also worked in a joint security environment with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadrons 5 and 21 as well as the Air Force's 586th Expeditionary Warfare Group. F Company worked closely with Navy Inshore Boat Units to provide seamless sea and land side security for the Naval Base.
I speak a couple of other languages and have lived overseas for several years (in the Republic of Korea). I've lived and worked with soldiers of other countries. I suppose my experiences could be considered limited but compared to most US citizens this isn't so. However, based on my life experience and what I see today I believe that:
1. The US is the greatest, most free country in the world with the greatest range of individual exercisable (is that a word?) liberties of any country anywhere at any time except this country in June 1963.
2. The US economy is strong and growing despite the pressures being put on it because of capitalism. Economics IS a demonstrable measure of the health of a nation. However, so is the ability of a nation to control its borders and to demonstrate its sovereignty.
3. US freedoms ARE under attack by a vocal but politically strong minority with unceasing assistance of a like minded media.
4. Service to community and country can take many forms, some of which are not popularly recognized as such.
5. ILLEGAL immigrants demonstrably have no regard for this country, are in fact invaders and thieves (of the public wealth) who should be removed. LEGAL immigrants have made this country great because they had one thing in common, a desire to excel and to keep the fruits of their efforts.
6. It is one thing to share and assist the least fortunate among us, it is another thing entirely to be forced at the point of a bayonet to do so in accordance with somebody else's opinion of who should be helped.
Yes, I might be repeating myself. Truth bears repeating...
Am I what I believe? I believe so...
I suppose many of us struggle with this self labeling. Assigning a descriptive name to who we are. I have long considered myself a liberal but that isn't the correct term nowadays. I am now properly labeled a conservative. Why?
I believe in God as the creator of all things. I believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient. I believe that the universe runs in accordance with "rules" that God created. I believe that learning those rules is what passes for science.
I believe that there is good and that there is evil. I believe in freedom of choice. I believe that the unborn would choose life, as I do. I believe that those who do not want children should choose abstinence or choose condoms.
I believe that I have the right to choose to live and to act as I need to to preserve my life. I believe that those who make an attempt to take my life forfeit their own.
I believe that my concealed handgun permit is just as valid in the presence of alcohol as open carry. I believe that hiding the gun from others who would take advantage of me doesn't make me more likely to use it.
I believe that I am just as good a person and just as trustworthy as any government employee.
I believe that the ability to live free should not be dependent on my race, religion, or national origin.
I believe that non-citizens can't unilaterally choose to live here. I believe that I have rights as a citizen that non-citizen invaders or enemy combatants don't have. I believe that I need my taxes to do something for my community, i.e. other citizens NOT INVADERS. I believe that citizens should get tuition assistance from our tax money, not illegal aliens. I believe that mass amnesty for criminals/invaders is wrong.
I believe that we must destroy others who would destroy this country. I believe that our servicepeople have answered a higher calling and I believe that their sacrifices should be honored and remembered.
I believe that I should be the primary beneficiary of my labor.
I believe that I should be able to pass the fruit of my labor on to my family including my children without the government taking one last "share".
I believe that my property is not for the government to take for another because the other will pay more taxes (or has friends in the decision making process).
I believe that this country is the greatest on earth and has a special responsibility to be a guiding light of freedom and liberty in this world.
Thoughts on Military Service
I was watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" one Sunday night. In this episode they helped out one SPC Lucas of Farmville, VA. SPC Lucas is a member of the Farmville unit of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division and is/was deployed to Iraq. Promoted as a lover of history and a patriot, this connection was played up in the construction of his home as a modern recreation of "Chatham house" on a portion of the old Watson farm. I sure the left-wing bigots are already burning up the lines to ABC to protest the 3rd National (Confederate States of America) flag that the crew put in his "collections room" (a separate brick outbuilding). I know I've some concerns but they have nothing to do with the Lucas family themselves but rather a more general approach to service as portrayed on this show and on TV.
Extreme Makeover has done several shows featuring new homes for service people. That those individuals get those homes is a good thing. Still some things bug me.
First, how were these individuals chosen? I think perhaps that there are concerns (rightfully) for the legal and production concerns. That is, it must be legal, permits must be obtained, there must be room for cameras and the schtick that the show does like bringing in the mob of volunteers and construction workers. I think that the site must also make the house look good when finished. I think they interview the participants as well. They must know that these folks will be demonstrably affected by the situation. Stoicism doesn't attract viewers, weeping does (apparently). And there's the rub for me.
While it shows America's finest as more than hard-bitten baby killers (which is the normal leftist view), it also shows us as a bunch of weeping wusses. Ok, so I don't know what happened before and after the scene of weeping shown on TV. It may very well be that they have a psychologist on staff who comes in and surreptitiously initiates a crying jag which is then conveniently filmed. Still, it bugs me. It bugs my wife. Yeah, she had to endure more than a few separations. She's been through the "everything breaks when he's gone" deal. She didn't/doesn't cry about it. Neither did the first Mrs. Hobie.
Ok, so you might be saying to yourself, "the crying isn't all that bad, is it?" Well, yeah. I think it paints the soldier as victim. The soldier is no victim. SPC Lucas did a pretty good job of putting that across in words but I think the words were too few to counter the images. He was right in saying that soldiers do what they do to continue what those soldiers of 147 or 232 years ago did and for the same reasons. They expect that war is what it is, dirty, hard, lonely for fighter and family. And today, as they often did in the past, they volunteer to do it. While others sit in their warm (or cool) homes, far from any danger, watching TV and eating as they please, completely unafraid, soldiers go into harms way but think nothing of it. It is how and what it is, nothing more and nothing less.
So it pains me, but not to the point of crying about it, that this show and others attempt to paint the US serviceperson as a pathetic victim of his government. I just don't think that such a portrayal of volunteers is accurate.
I know that I get at least one phone call most every day asking me to donate to something or another. I've tried being polite, explaining that I can't donate today or that my donation budget for the year is shot. It never ceases to surprise me how many are insistent to the point of being rude (and never mind those that just jump straight to rude). It is counter-productive at best and can just out and out harm your organization.
From the other side, I was, until recently, raising money for a foundation. My youngest daughter has done this professionally. One thing is for certain that every community conscious business BUDGETS for charitable giving and most prioritize those issues/causes that directly affect their employees (who often hit up the boss for contributions). Businesses might "do a lot of business" or "make a lot of money" but they also spend a lot of money and have expenses such as payroll which must be paid.
Simply put, no individual or business can afford to contribute to every single person/group/charity that solicits a donation every time.
In the case of many big chains like WalMart and Cabelas, each store has a charitable giving budget based in part on profits from the previous year. Exceptions, just as with any other business decision, likely rest on the store manager. His job likely rides on his ability to produce profit more than on his ability to meet every community need. Alienating him is not likely to produce for you in the future. Showing understanding by asking about his budgeting cycle and when might be the most opportune time to ask for a donation (rather than just when you need one) often produces great results.
In other words, strong arming your donors separates "charitable" from "giving" and is no different from the government shaking out your wallet. The stronger you are in the "asking" the stronger I am in refusing. That's just how it will be. But, if you have a cause I like and you let me know about your needs you might be surprised by the support that comes your way.
Yesterday was for Heroes - Today is for the Zeroes
Not all the zeroes are Timothy McVeigh sorts, some are government employees/agents. I leave it for you to decide which is which.
David Hardy has done some research on the Waco "raid" which so po'ed McVeigh. It seems to me that if the welfare of the children was so important another course of action would have avoided their immolation. Just sayin'...
But, what probably has larger implications for all of us was the apparent willingness of the various federal agencies to lie to other agencies in order to get their support (logistical, material or otherwise) for this raid. If they will lie in this, are they lying in court? If they don't care about the rule of law in this, do they care about the rule of law in dealing with any of us? If this sort of behavior on their part isn't out of bounds, is any behvior out of bounds?
Of course, there was the Oklahoma City bombing. There are many conspiracy theorists out there of which this is one. Now, I can't believe that the federal government agencies managed to pull off a bombing what with all the whistle-blowers out there who work in but hate the government. The expose everything from the ATF director's opulent office renovations to the Detriot mayor's romantic trysts. How could they keep the lid on something like this? No, I think that there was a conspiracy of McVeigh and others to do this thing and they did it. I am very much of the opinion that all who are culpable (and I don't think for a moment that Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols were the only persons involved) really didn't serve their cause (whatever it was) well. I am also of the opinion that we were ill-served by those responsible for investigating this crime. After all, we don't have them all yet...
This is, I think, a near perfect example of bungling bureaucracy with some combination of unreasoning administrators and lawyers making decisions they simply weren't qualified to make. Hopefully they won't wait for the FAA to sift through plane wreckage to find a bullet hole before they correct this.
BTW, the easiest way for a pilot to take down a plane is to simply push that yoke forward and throttle up. Those guys in the cockpit ALREADY have your life in their hands (literally).
Now here's a product that has function AND some panache... for what it is worth, 550 cord seems to by hypo alergenic, too. I don't have one yet, but they are neat. If you are a fan of Mauser*Girl's 550 cord projects but simply don't have the knack for it (and it does take a knack to get them to come out just right) then here's how to look cool for a small price. I particularly like the miniature shackles. Neat.
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Yeah, that's it, we're just of bunch of illogical, unreasonable, stupid and embittered people who need the government to save our asses. Look BHO, keep the illegals out so that we can give those jobs to legal residents, leave our guns alone, don't lecture us about religion with the pastor you had for 22 years, and keep your ever-lovin' hands out of my wallet. We wouldn't be quite so "embittered" if you did all that.
Polygamist Cult Raided... (dateline San Angelo, TX)
Let me begin by saying that when I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo in 1974 (for all of 11 weeks) those folks were very nice (by and large) and the food was good.
Now, what is going on? Is it ONLY about this "pseudo Mormon polygamist cult" or is it more? I ask because I hardly see any outrage about Muslims demanding our adherence to Sharia law and THEIR form of polygamy. I don't hear anyone angry about Muslims marrying girls as young as 13 or denouncing their ancestors for the practice (and it was very common just 100 years ago right here in the USofA). I don't hear anyone raising a stink because the Sheriff had an informant (his statement) inside the cult for 4 years and only moved because they had allegedly received a call from a 16 year old girl who alleged rape and beating by her 50 year old "husband". I don't hear a word questioning why ONE woman alleges all these cruelties while some 100 women were still with the sect. While we are told to remove our children from indoors and get them to be more physically active, suddenly these folks were evil because the kids were ,"Without television, without newspapers, without all the things that kids grow up with these days." (ummm maybe without drugs, street gangs, drive-by shootings, too?)Are authorities in other communities now going to target the Amish or Hutterite communities because they isolate their children without access to television, newspapers and all the things that kids grow up with these days?
I smell a propaganda campaign here. Ok, so we don't allow polygamy (so let's stop it in the Muslim communities) and we are against child sexual abuse (so let's ban marriage before the age of 18 and prosecute teenage boys and girls who have sex with one another) and we don't like those who separate themselves from society at large (so let's go ahead and move on the Hutterite, Amish, and Mennonite communities and ban the Baptist summer camps). Let's go ahead and force all deaf children to get cochlear implants and go door-to-door to root out the agoraphobics. Maybe we can even start a licensing program for those who want to live in the rural areas away from the big city (and TV and all the other things that big cities have these days). You know, just so we know they don't harbor any seditious thoughts...
Seems to me that somebody has stepped over the line once again and I don't like it. At least they haven't murdered these children to save them.
Wouldn't it be nice if every political party made such resolutions?
Below is the text of a resolution that was passed this Monday night at the Goochland Republican Committee meeting.
I introduced the resolution and it was seconded by several other VCDL members in the room. After discussion, in which I answered questions and read a letter of support by the Virginia Attorney General bob McDonnell, the resolution was brought to a vote (seconded by my fellow VCDL members and others) and it passed unanimously. The resolution has now been forward to the 7th District committee and the State RPV. It is a binding resolution for Goochland. :)
Next on the list is the 7th District convention in May and other counties followed by the State RPV convention at the end of May.
I found it a very easy and open process to participate in the local political party committee meeting. Free to sign up in most cases. Any member can bring any kind of resolution up that they wish. The resolutions of the committee can and do shape the local, District and State party platforms. Imagine if only two or three VCDL members participated in their local county committees (for both parties), we could seriously influence the official party platform of both parties in this manner.
Typically, these meetings are only attended by about 10 to 50 people. Yes, those few people control and influence politics. You just need to show up!!!! I was told by friends in the party that 5-20 VCDL members in each county could profoundly effect what happens at a District or state convention. This approach has serious merit and many potential benefits for VCDL if its members engage the political parties at the core center of their existence.
WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is guaranteed as an Individual Right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and under Article I, Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia, and;
WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms for defense of Life, Liberty, and Property is regarded as an Inalienable Right by the Goochland County Republican Committee, and;
WHEREAS, the lawful carrying of firearms in accordance with state and federal law, as acknowledged by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Virginia, is an inherent right of the citizenry, and;
WHEREAS, the Goochland County Republican Committee, affirmed by Supreme Court rulings, recognizes that the individual, and not any of the various law enforcement agencies, is ultimately responsible for their personal safety; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Goochland County Republican Committee commits to holding all of its public events at businesses and locations that allow law-abiding, legally armed residents entry onto their property; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Goochland County Republican Committee requests that the 7th District Republican Committee and Republican Party of Virginia do the same.
Wouldn't it be nice if EVERY political party would make such a resolution? I mean, to fully support the 2nd Amendment as the purport to support the 1st Amendment. I think it would win the Presidency for the Democrats. But, of course, they could never do so. You see, gun control is really people control and in people control the Dem/S get the power after which they lust. Oh, I know there are individual exceptions in the Democrat party but most of them, such as Virgil Goode here in VA, have left the Democrat party.
I'm hoping that at least McCain will see to such a resolution being adopted by the RNC, but I doubt it will.
Two Kinds of Confirmation
40 years ago today the Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated and, at about the same time on this same day, I was confirmed as a member of the Episcopal Church and had my first communion. At about the same time the Bishop was placing that first wafer of the body of Christ in my mouth the great man (and he was a great man) was breathing his last. As I confirmed my belief in and acceptance of Christ as my saviour, we as a nation witnessed the act that confirmed our common rejection of racism.
Yes, I think that the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King forced Americans of all races to come together. You might not have realized it while standing in the light of the fires lit by rioters in major cities all around the country. You might have thought that those riots demonstrated the irreconciable differences that would tear apart our nation in the throes of violent racial conflict. But, it didn't happen. I think I know why, too. I think that we took his words to heart...
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Many had the same dream. Their families came to this country to find the reality of that dream. They came from six continents and from every other nation to find a place where they weren't judged by their caste, or their color, or their religion, or their race, or their gender but were judged on the merit of their character and their ability and their actions. They came to the United States of America. And still they come...
I hope you'll take a few short minutes and watch and listen...
Ted Turner, The Mouth of the South
Why is it that those who think there are too many people never offer to remove themselves from the planet? Why is it that they all buy into the global warming as caused by humans thing? Ted Turner is another, read about it.
For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.