Friday, March 31, 2006

That is not news, but I will tell you what is.

I was reading a headline titled, “Dire Prediction From Osama's Bodyguard” in which he states he is certain the al Qaeda leader is planning an attack on the United States.
They interviewed Abu Jandal, who was with bin Laden in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000. Abu Jandal stated the bin Laden's last tape, on which he threatened consequences to the United States, is not a threat, but a promise.

This is not news every time the countries security level is raised they discuss it on every television channel. 60 Minutes published a quote from Abu Jandal, "When Sheik Osama promises something, he does it … So I believe Osama bin Laden is planning a new attack inside the United States, this is certain," The same reaction applies, America is aware of this and remember the security level, same thing.

The article stated the closest we came to getting bun Laden was before 9/11 during a retaliatory U.S. missile strike on the al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. My initial reaction to this was “We missed the Bastard!” and with this in mind could Mr. Abu Jandal give us the information needed to punch in the coordinates and hit him this time.

The interview demonstrated to me that 60 Minutes is climbing mountains and crossing oceans to present news that betters the other news services. Their quest to publish a headline of dire predictions when in fact everyone in the entire free world is already aware of it only proves that.

Let me read an article going into detail how our special operations units captured bin Laden with information provided by 60 Minutes, now that is news.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Husband on Strike..

It appears that James Wilson of Redford, Mich. has taken his lawn chair and his beef with his wife to the roof of his house where is has declared to the world that he is on strike. Wilson says his wife, Valentina, is ignoring him and in the process denying him of that certain special wife thing she used to do and spoiling the kids by letting them stay in their private bedroom at night.

“I’m speaking on behalf of all of the husbands in this nation that suffer in silence. I plan to be a voice for those husbands that men, we all want that time alone with [our] wives, that’s extremely important,” Wilson said.

Wilson has started a blog, Husband-on-Strike  (found after multiple searches) where people can go and sign a petition (same multiple search applied for this too) requesting that his wife immediately boot the babies from the boudoir.

His wife, Valentina reply is, “He’ll Live”, with that in mind it is plainly evident Wilson had better take quite a few lunches on the roof with him because he will be there awhile.

This man has taken it upon himself to be the global spokesperson for “special favors” abused husband and men everywhere. I empathize with this poor man in his quest for, shall we say “special favors” of his wife and admit that there have been many times in my life I wish I would have thought of it.

I know that if I had ever thought of taking the same heroic actions as Wilson that it would have been the very last special favor I would have ever experienced.

I Guess Diamonds don't last forever

The on-going Nigerian Internet fraud has passed the boundaries of news and crossed over to comedy on various sitcoms. Even the Nigerian authorities have established a high profile crime unit titled, 419 Scam, to handle the complaints and subsequent investigations.

Remember this: Nigeria implementing a special unit dedicated to the 419 swindles is not going to bring your money back.

I have never heard of anyone actually admitting they were a victim of this fraud that is until now. It appears a Geneva diamond dealer with more than 40 years of experience, gave $14 million worth of gems to a stranger who claimed to be the wife of the deceased president of the Congo — before she had paid him one penny. I am very serious, read, “As Scams go, this is a Gem” if you do not believe me.

Stories have reached the public regarding what actually takes place in the Nigerian coffee houses, where they mastermind these crimes over a double espresso. They are not running around wearing an Armani tuxedo while smoking custom made cigars and driving fast cars. They are simply a bunch of young men sitting around some coffee houses in Nigeria and comparing notes on how best to bilk people out of their money.

Their messages vary so much that many websites dedicated to the fraud have implemented databases of them for users to check. The 419 Coalition Website is one of them.

I would have to say that giving $14 million worth of gems to a stranger has got to be a dumb thing to do, believing one of the Nigerian letters, well what can I say.

I should point out that I discussed this fraud with a few consultants specializing in internet Fraud they advised this occurs quite often and more than reported. Investigate any offers or requests you encounter on the Internet or in e-mail.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Aruba is inept

Authorities in Aruba stated they are resuming the search Wednesday for missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. The lead investigator in the case calls this the "critical last phase" of the search.

This announcement was difficult to grasp a full ten months after the incident took place. Then I discovered they are brining in cadaver dogs from Holland to search the beach area near the Marriott and ground radar equipment used in Bosnia to find mass graves. The authorities also announced , they're comparing satellite images of this area taken before Natalee disappeared last May and photos taken (more recently) to see if there's, like, a shift or something peculiar, changes in the landscape, to help pinpoint a burial location.

Aruba announced they were working with a tipster with information too specific to be a story that made up by somebody.

I am sure Aruba is very excited over the possibility of closing a case haunting them for this length of time. Ten months living with a high profile case as this one has to take its toll on the investigators involved.

They might not be in this position had they allowed outside investigators in when it occurred. Their attitude was America are cowboys and all that accomplished was the world learning Aruba authorities are inept with no clue how to handle a case with far reaching implications like this.

The family has been waiting ten months for closure. All the while deep within their minds they hope she is still alive. This case has gone on far too long. The authorities in Aruba should be ashamed of their actions and lack of professionalism at the onset of the case. Ten months is too long without a suspect, a motive, anything for a family to grasp.

America should boycott all travel to Aruba and not just until the case is solved, but forever.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Medical Marijuana - I just don't know

Many states have placed legalization of medical marijuana on their ballets. Voters in each state approved them only to have it lay stagnate due to federal legislation making it a criminal offence. One state had DEA agents address both the pharmaceutical and medical boards advising them of prosecution under federal drug laws for writing or filling a marijuana prescription.

The legality of the laws went before the U.S. Supreme Court who In June 2005, in a 6-3 vote ruled that medical marijuana is an illegal, controlled substance inappropriate for therapeutic uses such as a glaucoma treatment. This has not silenced the pro groups within the states. This week, a federal appeals court in California will hear arguments in the latest rounds of legal wrangling over the issue.

I was a teenager during the turbulent decade of the 1960 era. As many others during that period of awakening, a day seldom passed without someone offering me a share in their mind-altering substance of the moment. Although freely available and accepted well within a society wanting to expand every portion of their mind, I have never used it. My decision of avoidance had nothing to do with my moral upbringing. My choice of a career predicated a verifiable clean background and I saw no reason to place it in jeopardy.

I have been sitting on the fencepost regarding the entire issue, each time I lean towards voting for it, something happens to change my mind. As an example, I watched our local news interview an illegal medical marijuana user who saw nothing wrong with lighting a joint on television.

They interviewed a person using marijuana for his medial problems. He gave the appearance of a burnt out left over hippy from the summer of love, 1967, stringy long hair, unkempt mustache and scraggly beard, seated in a chair, busy rolling a joint and explaining he smoked the marijuana for glaucoma and the associated pain. The interviewer advised him the medical association released a lengthy study showing marijuana did nothing for glaucoma. He stated it worked for him, lit his joint and fade to black.

That was the moment I made my decision not to support the issue unless stringent regulations are included insuring the truly sick and terminally ill are the only ones to benefit from its use. Not individuals like the left over hippy using glaucoma as an excuse to smoke his weed.

Fond Memories

My mornings are normally spent consuming mass quantities of coffee while surfing through various morning news sites, all the while the television has my news selection of the moment emanating from the speakers. My prowess in current events is legend among my nephews.

World and American history is something else I have found mentally challenging, since elementary school. I have a compelling interest in the historical actions of nations and their leaders in defining the future course of their lives. My nephews discovered these undocumented features of their uncle and created their own homework research department.

My nephews were systematically searching through the entire house yesterday. Professionally and methodically moving room to room in what appeared to be a predetermined search grid.

Observing them search the house in a professional manner that would have intimidated the FBI was impressive, but I knew what they were searching for, “Scarlett Johansson, what a beautiful, sexy woman,” I said aloud. My nephews looked at one another and said, “He knows about women too.”

The look of admiration on their faces quickly altered the humor of the situation becoming a moment I wanted to grasp and hang onto for a while.

I will always maintain fond recollections of the three of us sharing an enjoyable evening together.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What will Sheen say now

This headline immediately grabbed my attention, Moussaoui's Testimony Stuns Court. The article is truly informative and I found myself searching for an e-mail link for Charlie Sheen. I wanted to open his far left eyes to a world existing far beyond Hollywood and the yes men following him around like a sick puppy seeking their master.

It appears that contrary to Sheen’s mentally deformed comments that the attacks on the World Trade Center were orchestrated in secret by the government, Zacarias Moussaoui testified that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.

I have been secretly hopping Moussaoui would make a statement like this, to make it on the witness stand in front of the reporters of the media was even more than I had dreamed about.

We can all rest assured that Sheen will spin this to reflect his personal beliefs as well. He will bend it; mold it into somehow reflecting the government operating in secrecy made threats of bodily harm to Moussaoui. I realize that statement is far-fetched, but not as much as the delusional ranting of Sheen.

We will have to wait and listen to what he attempts to spin this statement to reflect, but remember this, somehow he will.

Freedom we take for granted.

The concept of a court imposing a death sentence for converting from one religion to another is difficult for me to understand. As a child, raised as a catholic and growing up in the early portions of the 1950 decade other cultures and religions were foreign to me. I have early memories of the church’s involvement in the daily activities and planning of my family. I recall two Nuns’ from our parish periodically stopping by and visiting with my Mother and Father in the living room.

The sight of their habits traditionally sent me running for the safety of my room, incorrectly assuming I was to blame for something.

Visits from the church today are a scarcity except in extreme cases of severe illness their involvement is rather limited. It is unimaginable to think you could face the death penalty for dishonoring that faith.

Birth as an American assures we live under freedoms citizens of other countries do not have. This places us in an enviable position by some, yet others violently hate us for it. Religion can be a dichotomy of values leading to arguments each of us has learned to avoid. Situations such as the issue in Afghanistan of a court invoking a death penalty over a freedom we take for granted appalls some of us. Personally, reading of this case only made me more thankful to be an American

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Some things never change.

I was reading through a few of my favorite military blogs at yesterday. I observed that we may have the modern, well-equipped Army of today, but since the time of the revolutionary soldier some things have stayed the same. The troops are still not informed of anything going on in their areas of operation.

One GI in Baghdad wrote he was on the phone with his Mother and during the conversation she brought up the Mosque being blow up and the possibility of a civil war brewing in Iraq. To which he was totally stunned. He had no knowledge of the Mosque blowing up and had read nothing in the Stars and Stripes about a civil war. I was amused by his comments, as it was the same during my time of enlistment. The Stars and Stripes told wonderful stories of bravery, self-sacrifice and heroism, but nothing of a political nature. We used to get a kick out of the spin they put on things and reached the point we would read it for the crosswords and any news from home we could find.

They always had human-interest stories geared towards the in country soldier. They loved to tell tales of the help we did to the civilians and any news of the schools, churches or hospitals we would build for them. Of course they always neglected to report how long it would take the NVA to blow them up after we left that area, fact was, we did it and we were good guys. It was stories designed to make us feel good, not remind us we were at war.

One thing that has always bothered me is the slant they place on Viet Nam movies today, drugs, corruption, not caring, playing Russian roulette for the gambling habits of the enemy. Never happened, nope. I have read the Russian roulette sequence in “The Deer Hunter” was to show the insanity of war and nothing more. Of course that was written after letters poured into the director’s office from vets telling him otherwise. I never knew of anyone smoking weed before, during or after a battle or smoking weed at all. I am sure that years from now today’s vets will see their history portrayed in the same light. I hope not, I hope that their stories are told the right way. We will have to wait and see.

Follow up to "Here we go again"

I received a comment this afternoon to my post, “Here we go again” regarding a Hong Kong firm using U.S. radiation detectors to scan cargo without the presence of American customs agents. The commenter posed an important question, “Does anyone really think China has any incentive to have a nuclear bomb go into a U.S. port while under the watch of this Hong Kong Company?”  

The very fact the Bush administration is considering giving up our port security or why it would even want to allow others to scan for nuclear weapons during a time of a war on terrorism is what bothers people. Not their trustworthiness or professionalism. We would assume Homeland Security and our intelligence agencies would keep an eye on this

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Charlie and the Alien or how to destroy your career..

The rest of the world has finally discovered the truth that actor Martin Sheen and his family have been hiding all of these years, son Charlie Sheen is a complete idiot. The sad part to this statement is Charlie’s mind was not really lost through many loosing battles with drugs and booze, but was melted long ago by the mind-melt-ray of an alien laser gun. The alien had been secretly hiding in the confines of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and only getting out for occasional meeting with known Hollywood prostitutes until Charlie happened upon him one night in a lonely strip club. Charlie, at that time had a measurable IQ close to Albert Einstein and was on a fast track for leader of the free world until that little alien mind-ray zapped his mind. The world will never know what it lost because from that moment on Charlie’s mind became the consistency of melted strawberry ice cream.

The above statement makes as much sense as Charlie saying the 9/11 attacks were staged by the Bush administration. Don’t believe me? Type this into Google: “Charlie Sheen, 9/11” and read the hits. The moment he uttered those words of wisdom he became the immediate poster boy for the conspiracy groups running around screaming the sky is falling and Bush is to blame and it is all documented for you.

I must admit that I had not been aware of this until I surfed on over to A Soldier’s Perspective paged down and came across it. I read the comment and just sat there wondering what had happened to old Charlie. So bringing up trusty old Google I typed in, “Charlie Sheen, 9/11” and was lost no more. This explains why after two movies as his leading man Director Oliver Stone dropped Sheen like a hot potato. I had always assumed it was Charlie’s well-publicized drug habits and all night partying, but I had been wrong.

Now I understand why that beautiful ex-wife of his is just that, an ex. Poor Denise Richards, the mental nightmare she must have been through living with a total mush-brained dum-dum burned out from too many all night parties, drugs, booze and that dreaded space alien with the mind-melt-ray. What the hell is the matter with this guy?

I was a big fan of his show, Two and a half men, but I really don’t think my family will be watching it further. I would rather watch the sleeping habits of an ostrich then listen to him mutter through his lines anymore. Bye-bye Charlie. I hope I don’t meet that alien.

Here we go again.

As many other American’s I too have concern’s over the recent actions of the Bush administration in two National Security issues, one of course being their desire to give the security of our ports to a foreign nation. Granted this nation is presently enjoying a status of friendship with our country, but their past ties to supporting terrorist leave a bad taste in our mouths when we read of the decision.

In the aftermath of the Dubai port dispute we learn of the Bush administration hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere. The Bush administration recently acknowledged a no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampon Ltd. This represents the first time a company under foreign rule will be involved in running a U.S. radiation detector without American customs agents present.

The company in question, Hutchison Whampon Ltd. Is the world’s largest ports operator and well respected. The problem is its billionaire chairmen; Li Ka-Shing also has substantial ties to China’s government and this has raised serious concerns with others in Washington. It has been released that Li Ka-Shing is pretty close to a lot of senior leaders of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party. It was said that Hutchison operates independently of Beijing and Li Ka-Shing is “a very legitimate international businessman.

The legitimacy of businessman status really does not matter in this case. Wikipedia describes the status between the United States and China as follows: “Sino-American relations have generally been volatile, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, which removed a common enemy and ushered in a world characterized by American dominance. Many in the United States remain suspicious of Communist China and believe that its goal is to establish hegemony in East Asia and threaten U.S. interests.”

That is what really matters in our national security, the fact of turning it over to someone with ties to a communist nation with uncertain status. I simply do not understand why the Bush administration constantly attempts to undermine their own popularity among the people they represent. One would assume their concerns with national security would be strong enough to encourage the participation of agents of the United States in protecting it. Their constant attempts to turn over this security to those with uncertain ties represent the underlying mistrust of their administration.

Washingto needs a wake up call.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is making calls for the United States to “Go for Broke”, in an “All the way or Nothing” war against terrorism.

The only way to prevail in the war against violent extremists is "if we are in it all the way," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Pentagon reporters Friday."We can, we must, and we will see it through to completion," he said. Rumsfeld borrowed a quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, two days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, acknowledged that all Americans were in World War II together. "We are in it all the way," Roosevelt said. "We must share together the bad news and the good news, the defeats and the victories, the changing fortunes of war."

In my opinion the Bush administration made a large error not calling for a declaration of war against terrorism following the 9/11 attacks on American soil. I’m sure everyone recalls the songs of patriotism and the handholding by Senators the days after the attack. Party affiliations were tossed out the window that morning as Washington declared its unity with all Americans during our time of grief. I remember some being interviewed stating they would support a declaration of war against terrorism if the President calls for it and the media spin when he did not.

That specific action by the President would have placed the war on terrorism into perspective and the responsibility of any subsequent “boots on the ground” reaction or first strike shared by Congress as well as the President. Once again we send our military into action without specific support by Congress to back them up. One would think that Washington would have learned from its mistakes of the past with the police action of Korea and the undeclared war in Viet Nam. The use of military force through strategic air strikes or ground troops requires the full support of Washington for it to succeed. The size and scope of the response does not matter.

American’s traditionally have a limited memory of aggressive acts against us as well as the feeling of wanting to strike back once the military begins taking casualties. They begin to forget why we committed our military and begin wanting it to immediately come home. We would find ourselves living under a different flag and rule if we would have had this knee-jerk response in WWII. The military battles we honor today such as the Battle of the Bulge, Guadelcanel, Iwo Jima, would have never transpired if America had operated in that manner then. If that were today, the military casualties we incurred in those three engagements would have lead American’s to the streets and Congress screaming for Roosevelt to step down from his throne.

As in two past wars we find ourselves fighting at home as well as abroad. Once again the actions of Washington and protesting by the people are wearing down the moral of our troops just as much, if not more than the enemy. Washington needs a wake up call. We would think the debacle of the last two would have been it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The problems we face.

Crack, Crystal Meth, Weed and a plethora of other drugs are becoming as commonplace as the toaster. The so-called war on drugs America has been waging is not working. I observed an incident a few days ago that totally amazed me. My niece had broken her leg and it was my turn to drive her to school. I Pulled to the side of the buildings next door to wait until the buses finished their morning job and noticed a boy around 13 or 14 standing between two buildings trying his best to hide.

We sat there waiting for the buses to leave and I opened my window. The weed odor hit me so strong it was mind numbing. I looked over toward the boy and sure enough he was palming a joint. After dropping my niece off I went to speak to the principal to explain what had happened and pointed out the area it took place. She said, “Oh, that’s not school property it belongs to the apartment complex next door. I’m afraid there is nothing we can do about it.” She invited me to sit and we spent the next twenty minutes discussing the drug problem and the policies of the school.

She explained the school’s anti-drug programs to me. Zero tolerance, anti-drug education, peer counseling, one on one counseling, etc. Overall the programs are very well constructed and it showed the schools are trying. I thanked her and went home. Nothing could be done. I could not call the police. I did not have his description, name, anything that would have assisted them.

I don’t have the answers to the problem and it’s evident no one else does either. But there has to be something. Either that or society simply lost their way. I know of so many families affected by drugs. It destroys them from the inside out. Drugs have eaten some of them alive and spit them back out. I am not only speaking about teenagers, but adults as well. As long as we have countries whose sole gross national export is drugs the problem will remain. Whatever the answer is I hope someday they find it. Before it is too late.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Are we over medicating children?

I am reading a lot of articles lately regarding the amount of medication our children are placed on in today’s educational world. Reports are showing an extensive amount of ADHD type drugs being prescribed. I have to wonder if this is not creating more problems than curing.

We have depressed children on severe forms of anti-depressants who become more despondent and suicidal. We have children on the latest wonder drugs for ADHD and other disorders and often they are medicated without extensive testing. I agree that teachers have a responsibility to point out problem areas within a child’s learning abilities, but unless they have majored and practiced in pediatric psychology I do not feel they have the medical knowledge to demand anything and articles show this is exactly what is taking place.

I have a relative who is a prime example of the system on overload. Here is what happened.

Seven or more years ago a cousin of mine was medicated for a little over four months. According to the school at the time without the medication he was the epitome of the hyperactive child.

For a few months my Aunt had fought the schools constant requests for her son to be medicated. She was simply against it and reported that at home he was well behaved, did his homework, chores, never created problems and it was a pleasure parenting him.

The problem only tended to manifest during school. His teachers complained loudly about his actions within the classroom. A metamorphosis would occur. In the classroom environment his attention span was ten minutes or less. He created constant outbursts. He did whatever he pleased. If the class were assigned something that bored him, he drew pictures. The teachers complained he was unable to grasp the studies in the mental state he was in. They were upset and demanded he see a Physician.

My Aunt gave up and off to the Pediatrician they went. Ritalin was prescribed. Back to school and he was a changed boy. He appeared to be paying attention in class. He never created an outburst and best of all; he did not bother the teachers and they were happy. The school was ecstatic and my cousin was a member of the children of the corn lost in a state between awareness and the netherworld.

A few months later my Aunt, tired of picking her son up from school and seeing him in a drugged stupor. She takes him to a different Physician who specialized in children and their various syndromes. After an extensive weeklong series of tests they returned for the results. He was not a problem child at all simply bored out of his mind. The school was teaching about two years under his mental abilities. At the age of twelve he was referred to as gifted. We used to call them a genius. He is moved to a different school and taken off medication. He attended this one without the use of any drugs and the teachers reported he was a pleasure to have in class. He graduated from High School with honors and presently attends college.

Of course this case does not apply to all children. There are those with severe problems and others with physical limitations interfering with their mental growth. But the point I wanted to make is perhaps they should look deeper into the case of every child they haphazardly place on medication. Instead of thinking medication is the answer to everything.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Experts need love too

Please, someone out there I beg of you, give all those retired military experts used by the major news services a job, something to do, making cookies, paper-dolls, anything! Now I have the utmost respect for those retired military warhorses, I truly do, but All morning?  I awoke to news that the 101st Airborne had launched an assault on insurgent positions northeast of Samarra in Iraq. Interested and concerned for the troops I began watching. The news, what little the DOD had released was over in a few minutes, now to analyze it, provide blow-by-blow “what ifs” “maybe” and “damned if I know” scenarios the rest of the morning and afternoon is spent listening to all the retired military experts they dragged out of bed.

These guys droned on and on for hours. On one of the news shows the expert ran out of things to talk about and began taking questions from the studio audience. That was not enough. After the experts were through they dragged out all the pro and con people to sit in split screens arguing with each other about what capabilities the 101st Airborne were. Capabilities? They are the best-damned soldiers in the world and given the chance will insure the insurgents are dead. That is what they do. Problem solved. I was about to call DOD and beg them to release more information when I remembered the Sponge Bob cartoon was on.

In closing I have to bring up the item about President Bush stating our right to a pre-emptive strike. Alongside this is an item about Jessica Simpson snubbing the President. Snubbing the President? Who the hell cares if she did? I sure don’t. Okay, she is beautiful, has a great voice, but the fact that she snubbed the President does not concern me in the least. The leader of the free world just made a statement to Iran that we reserve the right to a first strike. Remember Iran, the bad-guys making nuclear threats to the UN and calling for the destruction of Israel. Those guys. That is news. Not the blonde co-star with Ms. Piggy in commercials throwing pizza in some guys mouth!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Disney Code

My nephews were watching television in the living room a few days ago. This is an abnormality in my house. They are 12 and 13 years old, smarter than I was at that age and each has their own daily cycles. One is a skater, skateboard in hand he carefully scans the neighborhood for new concrete to overcome. He has paid a few prices for the choice of his sport too; a broken finger and recently a broken foot from a bad landing, but to a skater that is a badge of courage and he wears it proudly. He plans to turn professional by the age of 13. The confidence of youth is amazing.

The other nephew is the gamer, not your standard play a game once in awhile, but a dedicated, master of all he plays and proud of it. He has all the gaming platforms and works hard at his grades as well. He is lucky, grades tend to come easy for him and that should be a big help later in life. His goal is to be a programmer, building the ultimate game that will make him the next Bill Gates. It’s always nice to know some of the kids in your class may be working for you in years to come.

It is an uncommon event for both to be in the living room at the same time, but the planets were in proper alignment, all was well in their world and I was lucky. I might add it was raining and they were bored as hell, looking to me for entertainment. I am not much at that either. Sock puppets are out of the question at their age and besides, they are too smart to fall for that one. I knew that when all else failed there was still the television. Yes, that 158 channel master of entertainment that we pay for and never find anything to watch. The living room television, all hail the TV! Never mind they each have a set in their rooms it was more entertaining to be with me.

One wanted the extreme sports channel, the other the gaming channel, we compromised, Disney channel! I knew that Disney would not fail me, nope, never did when I was a kid.
I quickly discovered how wrong I was. Disney, according to my two resident experts on the subject is now the phony kids network. My nephews were both vocally objecting to my choice. They said the kids are all phony and every guy is a preppy that makes them laugh when he tries to act rapper bad. The girls, they explained are all the same too. The Disney Code I discovered is they find a good-looking teen that can sing. They get writers and background vocals together and a video is made. Then the song is played a few hundred times over the next weeks. The teen then gets a sitcom to go along with their singing and presto! A Disney star is born. And most kids are on to them too. I sat with them and watched for a while and they were right. There are no normal looking kids in sight, all are preppy cute. The normal kids are all regulated to the comic relief sidekick status.

After my nephews shared the secret of the Disney Code with me we decided to find something else to do. Times have changed. Where did I put those socks?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thoughts of Past....

I was talking to a friend the other day over coffee, a hard charging ex-marine that at the age of 62 can still kick this ex-hooah’s butt in push ups. The conversation turned to the last battle of the Viet Nam war, the capture of The S.S.Mayaguez and the subsequent Marine beach landing at Koh Tang. We discussed both seeing the last 41 names on the Viet Nam War Memorial, all Marines killed in action on that God forsaken island that day.

I recall the day they captured the Mayaguez. I was sitting safely at home, thoughts of bullets, tracers and sappers long gone and watching the news. They announced the Pol Pot, Khmer rouge had boarded the S.S.Mayaguez and taken the crew prisoner. I was shocked; the last chopper had pulled out of Viet Nam and now this megalomaniac Pol Pot thought he could take on the fallen giant.

A buddy working the news desk of a local paper called me that night to say the it had came over the AP wire that Marines had boarded the ship. He did a bit of digging and called back later to tell me the Marines were in a battle for the lives on Koh Tang and the Khmer rouge had already splashed two choppers. He explained that basically the Marines were stranded.

I got dressed and drove to where my buddy worked. Once inside he and I were sitting, coffee cups in hand watching the teletypes from the AP, along with a dozen printmen, newsmen and whoever else was around. Every breathing human at the place was watching this stupid Teletype as if it were a television set.

It was a long time coming for those Marines to get the hell off that island. The Khmer rouge were firmly entrenched in the tree line and able to shoot each chopper into Swiss cheese without extracting one of the brave men fighting for their lives. But later it was announced that the Marines were safely on the ships. It was not until sometime later that they released news that in the confusion of the extraction three Marines were left behind. Believe me, this mentally destroys any trooper, let alone the Marines that were involved. I recall hearing it, sitting back in the chair, closing my eyes and praying for them as well as the Marines that made it. I knew that the knowledge of this was destroying those brave men and that it would always be with them.

I really have no idea what brought this conversation up between my buddy and I, but the end found us both gazing into the sky, each to their thoughts. I also cannot quite explain why I wrote about it, except that as a soldier long ago in a time a lot try to forget, my thoughts are still there and always will be. God bless those men, I pray they rest in peace.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Three wives!

While reading the morning news I came upon a promotion for a new television show. It is about a Man, his wife and family, except we are talking wives, plural, three of them and seven children, all residing in three adjoining houses in suburban Salt Lake City. All Right! Three wives! How in the name of Viagra can a guy take care of three wives? Okay, let’s totally take away the sex factor, even though they have it, or no seven kids. Let’s simply enter the emotional factor for one relationship. The actual dedication, work, parenting, being there for each other, you know? That factor, the one that truly counts in a marriage, let alone a relationship.

I have always found the work it takes in a marriage to one mate is more than enough to handle without being a polygamist. Now, I really don’t have room to talk, nor would I be considered an expert witness. That is unless ex-wives are taken into consideration. Only kidding, but, as most other human beings, I have had more than enough life-experience in relationships. As any other male in the world I can attest to the fact that living together is simply not an easy task. Sure, it’s great having someone to share things with, laugh with, enjoy life with, but there are down moments too and they are the ones that take work.

I have never been the partying type, well that’s a lie, when I was younger there were days without sleep. But, I was not that dumb, dating only back then. I can only imagine staying out late with the guys, tossing back a few beers and playing pool. The poor guy arrives at his home(s), guess that would be plural in the above case, and there are not one, but three wives standing at the door waiting with fire in their eyes. I guess tearing your shirt and running in screaming, “Don’t pay the ransom, I got away!” would be a pretty good idea at that point.

Watching a guy with three wives, seven children and probably a lifelong prescription of Viagra may be humorous, we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Life goes on...

Iran is making nuclear threats, North Korea is claiming the right to a first strike, claiming we are still in a state of war, al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person to be tried for the 9/11 attacks appears more and more to be in a state of nothing. The world and apparently the United States remain in its constant state of living on the edge of war. Baghdad police find 80 more bodies and life goes on. A perpetual state of chaos on one side, the other side finds protestors calling for the United States to end its attack against the insurgents in Iraq. Never mind the fact they are at war against us. I suppose the best way to defend oneself is to simply leave. What a concept that would be, Iraq would be devastated and the warring factions would wipe one another off the map. That would solve the problem. Sure it would.  

With common sense that has never ceased to amaze me the protestors, media and others feel they have the answers to it all. You really want to know the answer? Explosives and plenty of them! The truth to the matter is, any problem in the world, no matter how small or large can be solved with the proper use of things that go bang. At least that is what all the protestors accuse us of. If it does not agree with us, blow the damn thing up. According to their misplaced doctrine we, that is everyone else not wishing it was still the 1960’s and wearing flowers in our hair are war mongers with military snipers secretly killing those not agreeing with us and secretly creating dissention among the parties in Iraq with civil war our ultimate goal. This allows us to sit back, let them fight it out then asserting our military might take over all of the oil. Which as you all know was our goal in the first place.

A few days ago while surfing the web I came upon an article authored by an Iraqi citizen in academia posing the hypothesis that the United States was behind the pending civil war and we were sending out death squads to accomplish this. With statements like this no wonder there is so much dissention among the Iraqis.

It’s nice to see the world has not changed. Now if I can only find the keys to that bomb shelter my Dad built in 1965.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

CJ did not blow it

I have a personal note to add to a blog CJ, A Soldier’s Perspective, just completed, and titled, “I Blew It”.  CJ was interviewing anti-war protestors and lost his composure, as a result he feels he blew the whole thing. No you did not brother, anyone in your shoes, home from a tour in combat, seeing what you saw would have done the same. It is a difficult task to remain objective, while your friends are seeing the elephant. It is very easy for others to look upon us and say whatever they feel. They hide behind their amendment rights and scream as loud as they can if we are protesting to show support. They will go to any length, cross any point to insure we get as much trouble as possible. I am speaking from experience, been there, done that, wearing the t-shirt, we are not alone either.

In the late 1960’s I was home from a war no one wanted and protested even more. The anti-war movement was taking its first steps; Woodstock would not take place for another year. Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind” had been released a few years earlier and was already an anthem, Joan Baez, usually seen with Dylan was protesting loudly and already had a following. The movement was a few years old, old enough for protestors to throw eggs at a few friends and me when we deplaned, screaming loudly that we were baby killers. We quickly ran to the protection of MP’s who turned out to care less what was going on. They were used to it and simply told us to get inside. A year later I was trying hard to understand their side, as most soldiers I knew the war was ran by Washington and in its present condition would never be a winnable situation. Still, my brothers were there and I supported them with every fiber of my soul. They were part of me, a part that no one would have understood. I was curious and wanted a few answers. I attended an anti-war protest seeking those answers, joined by a girl I was dating.

Immediately I was struck by the amount of drugs passed around, this was the 1960’s, remember that. People would stand at the microphone saying who had what and who had what to avoid. This became a common practice during these events, as demonstrated at Woodstock. I had seen drugs before and had never touched them, I was planning a career that frowned upon it and simply avoided them. I tried opening discussions with a few individuals and the answers never really made sense; I attributed it to the drugs and moved on. It was my girlfriend who got a good conversation going with a few people and I joined in. She was a political science major and had as much interest as I did. In the beginning the conversation was intelligent and enjoyable. I was learning what was going on. That quickly changed when someone said all the soldiers need to die and get this over with. A few others joined in and the conversation rapidly turned from good to really bad.

Tempers began flaring and I was throwing back words as fast as they were coming. I was telling them the soldiers had no choice in the matter and did not even want to be there, but it fail on deaf ears. It got down to two guys screaming at me and me at them. One guy said something that to this day I cannot recall and I punched him. It really got bad then. I was trying to get my girlfriend out of there when the Police arrived. They arrested a half dozen of the protestors and my girlfriend and I.

I explained what had happened and how the whole thing went from open discussion to a few of them bleeding. I knew I was in deep trouble and was very concerned. Times were different then and Police were different too. The officer looks at me and asked when I had returned from Viet Nam. I had not even told him I had been in the Army. I answered his questions and a few others. He and his partner took my girlfriend and me out of sight of the crowd. He tells me his son was in Viet Nam and that he had served in Korea.  He then explained that I would never find answers with the protestors because they were only doing this for attention and a reason to party. He explained that the majority of them were not even from here, but were known professional protestors who travel to the events instigating as much publicity as possible. He then had another car take my girlfriend and me back to where my car was located and sent us on our way.

Answers? They turn out to be within us. I found mine a few months later. We can’t find them at protesting events. They always scream loudly about the poor troops facing combat, when in truth they could care less. You did not blow it brother; you can’t do that when you are talking to people whose views are as alien as someone from another country. The comments they make are the same now as they were then. It is a roads show, it never stops, just moves to a different place. I loved your jihad question and have used that one myself in a few discussions. Remember, you did not blow it; you simply climbed down to their level for a moment. You are not alone either. You have a lot of brothers who feel as you.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The media needs to wake up!

I know I constantly complain about the media, their lack of support for the troops and their misreporting from war zones. After reading complaints that radiate from the profound depths of my mind, or lack thereof, I am sure that it may become ad nauseam to some of you “Look here Martha, that old-guy vet is babbling and bitching about the media again, what’s for dinner?” Truth be told, I respect the news industry. I just don’t care for their method of sensationalism and misreporting. Worse yet, lies.

One of my primary complaints is the media misleads the truth, bends it, shapes it to the manner in which they can grasp the readers attention. Another is not even reporting what the primary story should be, in its place they report something that has no bearing what so ever on what the true story is.

Since the moment of American boots on the ground we have had reporters assigned to individual units; embedded reporters. Some have proven to be a Godsend to the troops, stories of their sacrifices, bravery and doing good for others have touched our hearts and souls. Regrettably some of these soulful reporters have paid the ultimate price with their lives. Embedded reporting is all well and good, but it places the reporters right there in the depths of the fighting; their only protection; Kevlar, a pen and a camera.

Some reporters don’t quite outright lie, they distort the truth, segueing to what they wanted to report on in the first place, something that has nothing to do with the story, but will create headlines. Example: a reporter is alongside a combat unit in the middle of a firefight, shells flying, hand-to-hand combat and the story should write itself. Discuss the events leading, the bravery, the loss, the sacrifice and the goals attained. Instead we see a few sentences of the battle then the story goes into Americans abusing prisoners in Abu Garab, which turns out to be an update to a rehash of a repeated story of which the perpetrators were already sentenced. But the reporter accomplished what they wanted; they reminded the world of an event perpetrated by a few. Sensationalism sells. On the whole, embedded reporters do not report the truth. Most of them do not even report what the story really is; they create what they want the public to perceive it is.

Many other countries are included among the terrorist hitting us in Iraq. These terrorists are not only Iraqis trying to take on the USA in a desire to return Saddam to power or create a different government in their favor. Iran is one of the primary players in the terrorist community. Do we see hard-hitting stories telling us how Iran is training soldiers to send to Iraq? Do we see behind the lines reporting on Iran at all? We see nothing.

Instead we are barraged with complaints against our troops. Allegations of war crimes committed by America. Dehumanizing abuse and constraints against religion at Guanatamo. We have Cindy Sheehan being quoted as saying, “They're committing crimes against humanity in Iraq. And we can't sit there, like what happened in Nazi Germany, and pretend this isn't happening.” Here is another of the media’s favorite Sheehan quotes, “These people are incredible liars and cowards.” What amazes me is these people are low in numbers, yet the media portrays them as the voice of America. If an Antiwar protest is taking place the media reports huge crowds.

I know for a fact of two lies. One I wrote on, the second, last year I passed a local college. Out front were about a dozen antiwar protestors, most students were heckling them and drivers of cars going by were hollering obscenities at them. During lunch I drive by and see two local television news reporters on scene. This crowd was animated, hollering, singing; I counted twenty-three students. Three of which appeared to be high school students joining the fun. While going home that evening I saw a few still putting their signs in cars and leaving, other students were still heckling them, telling them to go somewhere else. That night the news reports a massive demonstration, well supported by a large number of the community. I went off the deep end. I called both stations and went off on them. Each politely thanked me. That was it, end of story. They did not misreport, nor bend the facts; they outright lied and got away with it.

We need true reporters today, not puppets of the media. We need hard-hitting stories of the behind the scene attacks and threats against America, not the contrived, bovine excrement we are being subjected to. Come on media, wake up and join America. You don’t have to be a puppet, think for yourself, report the facts, the truth and for the sake of all the troops, report what it is really like.

Wake up Washington

I read an article this morning regarding FEMA, It quotes the Chief of Homeland Security in a new Preparedness Directorate saying, that the next director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency should have experience managing emergencies.

Apparently George Foresman, undersecretary for preparedness at Homeland Security had a discussion with the DHS secretary and deputy secretary. They were confident that the person appointed FEMA director "will have the appropriate credentials" to reassure Congress and the public.

Huh? Washington never ceases to amaze me. They are the only place in America that will take an individual who has never worked within a given field, neither trained for nor ever even received training and make them the director of it.

Sort of along the lines with taking a vet, who never served in a combat unit and make them Secretary of Defense. (Gee that has never happened) Then when a catastrophic situation occurs in which nothing goes according to plan they begin their self-investigation into why it failed. Here is a tip; the boss had no idea what the hell he was doing! That’s why it failed.

This is along the same lines and makes a s much sense as taking a line-cook in the commissary and making them head of the Federal Aviation Administration, or a janitor and making them Secretary of State.

What is wrong with this picture? No experience, no training, no education and something always goes wrong, fails, does not work or is so fouled up it takes an army of experts to sort it out.

Just because someone is a great person and supported the politics that be, or worked their butts off in the primaries does not give them the qualifications to operate an agency. This has been a problem with government as far back as remembered. Granted, there have been success stories. But the fact remains that education and experience should play a part in at least some of the cabinet positions and the majority of positions that are in the same category as FEMA.

Wake up Washington, before more goes wrong.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cindy Sheehan Shame on You!

Cindy Sheehan, shame on you! We all know by now that you love the spotlight; love it, you live for it. But as you travel around telling us all how bad the war is and what a bad President, George W. is, tell me, couldn’t you have bought your son a headstone?

I have said in the past that your son would be turning over in his grave if he knew what you were doing. Now we find that his grave is not even marked with a proper headstone while you spend his insurance money. Just to remind readers, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan 24, of Vacaville, Calif; assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; was killed April 4 when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Baghdad. Casey Sheehan is a true hero He was dedicated to his friend, his unit and was a true warrior. After being hit he continued to fight alongside his team until the very last moments of his life.

I have been researching Casey Sheehan and one of the best articles can be found at Blackfive. I recommend it as an inspirational story for anyone who has served or planning to serve. It demonstrates the true hero that he was.

Since the death of Casey, America has been subjected to the constant tantrums of his mother, Cindy Sheehan, from camping out at the President’s ranch to any other protest where she can get her name in print. Cindy Sheehan has now joined the ranks of all other media motivated individuals; she has handlers. Smash The Indepundit had a blog this morning in which this can be read. As all media motivated individuals, Cindy does not want to discuss any topic, which may be true or show her in a bad light.

As a vet during the Viet Nam conflict I lost many brothers. I was privileged to know some of their families and upon my return mourned their loss and celebrated their lives with them. I know all too well the shock and personal devastation that accompanies the loss of someone close. It hurts and time does not heal all the wounds. It is very easy to understand what motivates Cindy Sheehan. What is difficult is supporting her misguided attempts to accomplish something that her son would be ashamed of.

Now we discover that Cindy is busy spending the $250,000.00 insurance money while traveling the world protesting in something her son would in life, have nothing to do with. Her income is derived from more than the insurance. As a spokesperson she receives an income from speaking engagements as well as hotel and travel accommodations. It is quite interesting how she created a job title over the loss of a hero. Now Smash The Indepundit points out that her son, a fallen American hero does not even have a headstone while she is busy seeing the country. They also have photos displayed to back that statement up.

Cindy Sheehan is an example of greed in motion. She needs to be made an example out of and displayed for the true money grabber that she is.

War drums in the distance

War drums can be heard in the distance. Iran is shooting all the slings and arrows of hate and threats possible towards the UN and the United and to insure peace the representatives take the wounds. Wednesday, the United States warned Iran on the consequences it faced if it continues its nuclear research. To which Iran replied, "The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain," it said in a statement obtained by Reuters on the sidelines of the IAEA board meeting in Vienna. "So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll."

Of course threats from countries not well accepted within the UN circles is nothing new. But, somehow coming from a country that hates our culture as much as Iran does makes one sit up and take notice. The unfortunate aspect to this continued diatribe of hate is Iran simply does not like anything about the UN or the Unites States way of life. As far as they are concerned, they have the nuclear weapons to back their threats up. Don’t think for one moment their threats are empty. Not even close too it. Iran is capable of reaching the United States with their nuclear weapons of hate. They are very capable of reaching Israel too, that is where the true problem lies. Israel has never admitted to the community at large that it even has the capability of nuclear weapons, let alone the weapons themselves. But don’t think for one moment that is a true statement. Israel is unlike any other member of the United Nations, unlike others, they will act on threats and they have proved that in the past.

Of course that would settle one problem, but it would serve to open up a complete set of new ones too. An Israeli attack on a Muslim nation would end in Armageddon proportions we have previously only read about.  

While all of this is going on Iran is secretly sending specialized forces into Iraq. The Iraq Sun ran an article in which U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is accusing Iran of sending members of an elite military force into Iraq to stir up trouble. Secretary Rumsfeld is quoting as saying the people being sent in by Iran are part of what is called the "Quds" Force, an elite unit of Iran's Republican Guards. Secretary Rumsfeld called the development a threat to Iraqi security, which could result in the deaths of more Iraqis. And he said the alleged Iranian operation stems from concerns about the effort to establish democracy in Iraq.

No one should be surprised by any of this. Iran has a history of hating the United States and has decided to toss a few cards into the current play. Only time will tell us the outcome, but one thing is for certain. Iran should have been severely punished after their hostage debacle during the Carter administration. If that had been done we would not be subjected to their present threats and weapons of mass destruction. The UN should be a Tiger in this situation, demanding an end to a program and an end to forces in Iraq, not the mouse running around a wheel it normally is.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Entertainment is Dead

I normally avoid the academy awards, watching anything else instead; I don’t care if it is counting onions, but no academy awards. The “beautiful people” show can go on quite well without my added two and a half hours of boredom. I simply don’t like watching all the strutting and thanking for awards we could care nothing about. Here is a suggestion, take out all of the best this and that, the musical numbers that they either destroy or change the words to and the monologue that ranks right up there with watching corn grow and they would have a show. Cut it down to best supporting, best actor, and actress and best picture. Gee, that would take what? All of 15 minutes and it’s done. Hey, I need to send that in as a suggestion!

Here is more to the song issue,  "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" being nominated was a big step, but they censored, ok changed words. If they have finally awakened to the fact that there is life beyond diamond body rubs and mocha enemas then they need to tell it like it is. I will amend my 15 minutes; let’s add the red carpet opening at least, missing Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner would ruin my day. Ruin it? Damn I would die! Okay, back on subject, if there is one.

In my opinion Hollywood and the television industry can no longer create original pieces of entertainment. We are over loaded with reality shows on the television scene and remakes of old movies and Marvel cartoon characters in the theaters. Now I enjoy watching Wolverine kick ass, I really do, but Scooby-Doo? Freddie Prinze and his vampire slaying babe, Sarah Michelle Gellar should be forced to write 100 times they will never make another one. One more thing on Sarah Michelle Gellar, she leaves a successful show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so she can focus her attention to making films that count. Besides Scooby-Doo and one that was a Buffy rip-off, I am at a blank. Between comic characters and remakes of the oldies I am going nuts for entertainment. I imagine they are trying to figure out who will replace Bogart in the Maltese Falcon now that Harrison Ford is getting older. HOLLYWOOD PLEASE READ A FEW BOOKS!

I see they are going to begin filming “The Da Vinci Code” soon, that is if it ever gets out of court. That always amazes me too. Why is it every time a successful novel is published people crawl out from the woodwork to get a piece of it? Songs too. Let a song become a sensation and there will be people standing in line at their lawyers. Come on people, get a life, not sue for one.

I just want to be entertained. That’s not asking for too much.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Letter Writing Request!

In Memory of: Army SGT Rickey Jones, 21, of Kokomo, Ind; killed Feb. 22 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations in Hawijah, Iraq

CJ, at A Soldier’s Perspective is trying very hard to get a grass roots letter writing campaign to the family of Army SGT Rickey Jones, Who was killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad.

An earlier post which included this disturbing news writing, “The home of Sgt. Rickey Jones was egged Saturday, three days after Jones’ family learned the 21-year-old and three other soldiers had been killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad. His family also received phone calls in which the caller said: “I’m glad your son is dead.”

Add to this the fact that Jones’ relatives and police are bracing for the possibility that a Topeka, Kan.-based group, widely known as the Phelps clan, will protest at his funeral Monday.

These sycophants would not comprehend patriotism unless it was a member of their family. A sad comment though is even then it would not hit them.

I too am asking my readers to join with CJ in his campaign. This is a quote from his blog: “If you own a blog, please post this effort on your respective blogs and ask your readers to post it on their blogs. If you are as disgusted as I am and would like to write a letter to have delivered to this family, please email Lauren ( for more information. The good people over at Operation Military Pride are helping facilitate the delivery of these letters.”

The families stricken with loss should never have to deal with sick, disgusting individuals such as this. They have Fred Phelps and his clan following military funerals creating disturbances under the guise of First Amendment freedom, even though a cemetery is private property, now families must contend with total childish antics such as this? This disturbing act far transcends the normal protesting the troops must contend with, it transcends common decency, values and all America holds sacred. It is a disgusting, act and I pray law enforcement catches up with them.

Come on folks; show them we will not go peacefully into the night on this one. This has no bearing on supporting a war; this is a family’s loss. Let’s join CJ and do something about this one.


Friday, March 03, 2006


Government-doublespeak, we all hear of it, see it and ignore it. No, I am not talking about the words George W. mispronounces. Truth be told, I read an article saying the President enjoys all the humor the press has made of his mistakes. I mean the all out, read something and have no idea whatsoever of what you just read. The ones where you read it look at your friend and ask, “What the hell was that?”

The problem is it has become a standard. Our daily lives have been saturated with this for so long that it is now the way businesses speak and write.

I have a good friend of mine who was recently applying for a grant for his company. Warning: Grant writing is an art onto itself, and should never be attempted by individuals with high-blood pressure, nervous disorders, or the ability to levitate objects in a whirlwind about you when angry; especially sharp objects. Let me be frank with you, if you are the type of person who turns into Carrie at the school prom, destroying everything in your path, don’t even think about grant writing. Hire professionals, they are trained to write these and probably well medicated in the process.

I was having coffee with my grant-writing buddy and could not figure out why he kept muttering things to himself and shaking his head. After a few minutes of this I had to ask, either that or pretend it was normal to mutter silently then scream obscenities at anyone who approached him. He looked at me and asked, “What does the phrase, Submit documentation of literature, written material and program review documentation of the presenting plan mean to you? To which I responded, “What?” He simply shook his head and began telling me about his experience. As a non-professional grant-writer he uses templates, which aid him greatly. That is when he can actually understand what it is they are asking for. He had explained that the proposal he had just completed actually asked this question, as well as many others that would have needed an army of monkeys to understand. Monkeys because they may have been the only creatures capable of understanding something as miswrote, misspoke or mistyped. Some of the other quotes were even worse, so bad that it is impossible for me to even remember them.

The sad part is a grammar checker finds nothing wrong with that statement. The sentence structure is accurate, it is simply double-speak and they are not programmed for that. If they were the government community would never be able to use them. That is where the standard came from too. I am sure some of you are on or have helped someone apply for Medicare. I read that the application and subsequent coverage was so full of double-speak that it was impossible to comprehend it.

We all are subjected to this, but most of us don’t bother to read it. Perhaps it is time we did. Oh, to update you on my friend, he was last seen walking down the street screaming obscenities at strangers and had a constant whirlpool of chairs, tables and other objects floating around him. I think he was heading in the direction of the company he had just written the grant for too.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

They need us.

There are two distinctly different blogs on the net that are both saying important things. One, A Soldier’s Perspective, ran by CJ, An Iraq vet still on active duty, the other, One Marine’s View, by Capt. B. a Marine Corps Captain on active duty in Iraq.

CJ is discussing how soldiers on active duty feel and act about being in a war, CJ states, “We don’t WANT to be there. We NEED to be there.” That just about sums up the way every solder who ever served in a war feels; from 1776 through today. We did not want to be there, but we were sent to do a job. Once there we experience first hand the dichotomy of war, the yin and yang of every soldier who ever faced combat. Not only the fact another human being is shooting at you and to survive you must kill them first, but also the reason you were sent there in the first place. You see first hand the devastation left by a ruler who was so involved in personal wealth and glory that they cared little for the people they served.

We all see the Hollywood movies where a soldier cannot exist anywhere but in a war in which he can kill people. It makes for great stories. It also destroys the image of a true soldier. A soldier no more wants to be in a war than he wants to be away from home. A soldier does not like to kill another human being; we have been taught from birth that it is wrong. Now they are handed weapons and told to kill as many as possible. They do it because it is their duty; their job and they perform it to the best of their ability.

Capt. B. States, “Yes, I’m still here.” He goes on to discuss the fact that Marines are fighting and dieing in Iraq as we speak. Yes, it is easy to forget that fact while we are sitting safely in our homes at night. There are men and women in a war putting their lives on the line, they live, they fight and sometimes they die and they are out of our minds, unless we know them. A lot of people don’t even think about it unless the media is writing a story about the war or discussing the loss of life that day.

There are those against the war, some more aggressive than others. That fact will always remain we will never change it. There were protestors during WWII as there are to this day. Not all humans feel a war is the answer, and who really can question that fact? No one wants to attack another country, but there are cases where it is the only viable solution.

The fact remains, we have men and women in a war zone. We have our friends, neighbors, schoolmates, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters in a place they don’t want to be, doing a job they are trained to do and they are doing it for their country. These men and women together form the greatest military on earth and they need our support. They need our hope and prayers, most of all; they need us, because that is why they are there in the first place.