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Thursday, August 27, 2009
Lighten up, Francis

James Joyner writes today about a joke told by General David Petraeus at the Air Force's expense. As James puts it, some unidentified ponytailed desk jockey at the Air Force Association got his panties in a bunch and fired out a stern whine about the "offensiveness — and un-jointness — of [Gen Petraeus's] comments."

All I can say is...puh-leeze!

It sure looks to me like the writer of that Air Force Association piece never spent much time in a true joint environment. We rag on each other all the time. Soldiers are stupid, Marines are even more stupid (yes, it may sound impossible, but it's true), sailors are lazy with questionable sexual habits, and the Air Force is routinely called "civilians in uniform." It's what we do, Francis. Lighten up.

On the other hand, let somebody who hasn't "done their time" try to rag on someone in another service, and we'll swarm 'em like the Chinese Army. We've earned the right to rib each other. We're brothers-in-arms (and yes, our sisters are also brothers — deal with it). We get to rib each other, but it's knock-down drag-out time if an outsider presumes to join in the banter. They haven't earned the right.

So run to the ladies room and straighten out your undergarments, Francis. And while you're at it, figure out if you're quite ready to join your military brethren in real life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Someone keeps buggin' me for an update, so, here's an update.

mmKay, Rhi? :p

Wednesday, November 05, 2008
To Mr Obama

I congratulate you, and wish you good luck.

And may God have mercy on our souls.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Neighborhood sightings

Last night I saw a 4-point (I think) buck across the street from my house. We stared at each other for a bit while I muttered, "Soon, Bambi. Real soon."

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Thursday, September 11, 2008
Never forget

Today's the day. The day we woke up to the fact that we were at war. We'd actually been at war for many years, but we just didn't know it.

Some folks started suspecting that there was something very wrong at 8:46 AM, when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north face of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. When United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south face of the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM, a whole lot of people knew immediately that the world had suddenly changed. The United States was under attack.

We barely had time to consume the reality of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York when, at 9:37 AM, American Airlines Flight 77 penetrated the west side of the Pentagon. Over the course of 51 short minutes, we had learned what it's like to be afraid for our entire country. What was next?

Although we didn't know it at the time, a fundamental change in how Americans respond to threats started at 9:57 AM, when the passenger revolt aboard the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 got underway with the words, "Let's roll!" Six minutes later, at 10:03 AM, the first victory in the latest battle of our War on Terrorism ended with the crash of Flight 93 in a field outside Shanksville, PA.

A lot of things changed seven years ago today. The echoes of the September 11th attacks were later heard in Madrid, London, Istanbul and Indonesia, among others. People around the world realized, at least for a time, that appeasement and accommodation were useless in dealing with terrorism.

Unfortunately, with the passing of time, a lot of us have turned loose of the lessons that 9/11 taught us. September 11th is just another day. The War on Terrorism is just the deluded fascination of a very unpopular President. We're wasting money that could be spent on government programs that can make us feel better about how sympathetic and caring we are as Americans.

This is no time to waver. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. We can't let our successes in preventing more terrorist attacks lull us into forgetting about what we have to do to keep our country, and our countrymen, safe.

We can't let the 3000 people who were killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, die in vain. We can't forget how important that date was in realizing that we are at war with those who want to destroy us. And they would still destroy us if they could. If we would let them.

September 11, 2001. Never forget.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Where were you?

Hmm, where do I start?

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here before, but I've been playing World of Warcraft for over two years now. I only mention that now to explain why I read Matt's blog.

I was intrigued by one of Matt's recent posts, so I'm going to pick up on his meme and answer the same questions he did. The question I'm answering is, where were you when these historic events occurred (adding a few of my own, since I'm an old fart, unlike Matt, who's a young fart. And Canadian. Not that there's anything wrong with that.). These aren't exactly in chronological order, so I apologize if this is a little confusing.

Assassination of President John F Kennedy

This event wasn't a part of Matt's list, but it's the first significant world event from my memory, so I thought I'd add it in. I was an elementary school student in a small town in Texas, about 150 miles away from the events in Dallas, Texas, on that bright November day. I recall being herded by our teachers to stand outside and watch the US flag being lowered to half staff. For a young child, though, this was still a rather abstract event (at least until I got home and saw the solemnities on TV), so our spirits weren't dampened when we went to my classmate Dave's birthday party after school. What can I say? We were little kids.

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

On January 28, 1986, I was a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy, stationed in Maryland, preparing for a routine deployment to Commander, Middle East Force, aboard various ships in the Persian Gulf. As it happened, I was at home, off work that day. The way I remember it, my wife at the time called me from work to tell me about the Challenger's demise. I didn't have the TV on, so her call was the first I'd heard of it. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day watching the news reports.

Matt also mentions the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster (since he was actually alive for that event), which I recall as spending much of the day watching the news reports, but since it was a Saturday, and I had a couple of young kids to care for, it doesn't stand out in my mind quite as much.

Reagan assassination attempt

I was on a rotating schedule and shift work in 1981, so I happened to be off on that Monday morning. As with the later Challenger tragedy, my wife called me from work and I turned on the TV to watch the events of the day unfold.

Operation Desert Storm (to include Operation Desert Shield)

I participated in both of these operations during my career in the Navy. At the time, I was stationed in Rota, Spain, and deployed to various ships in the area. For Desert Shield, I spent time on various vessels in the Mediterranean and Red Seas (USS Silversides, USS John F Kennedy, USS Dallas...that's a submarine, an aircraft carrier and another submarine, for those who aren't familiar with these ship names), and for Desert Storm, I spent time on a couple of submarines (USS Grayling and USS Finback).

As a side note, I completed my submarine qualifications aboard the Grayling, which enabled me to wear dolphins on my uniform. To those who may not be familiar with this stuff, it's a big deal, especially for someone who wasn't permanently assigned to a submarine. Also, the flag in my retirement shadow box was flown aboard the Grayling.

September 11 Attacks

By pure coincidence, on this fateful day, I was once more at home, although this time I was actually working rather than having a day off. I had the NBC Today show on as background noise while I was working, and about 8:45, the report of an aircraft flying into the North Tower of the World Trade Center caught my attention. The way the reports were presented didn't instill much concern in me at the time, since I figured it was a stray general aviation aircraft that lost its way and tragically hit the WTC.

Approximately 15 minutes later when UA 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC, I knew this was a deliberate attack on our country. The matter of who was responsible for these attacks was immaterial at that point; the important point was that these were deliberate attacks.

Since I live roughly 20 miles west of Washington DC, all of this became much less abstract when AA 77 crashed into the Pentagon. This instilled panic within DC itself, which resulted in complete gridlock within the city, as I recall. Warnings, evacuations, the end, it showed how utterly unprepared DC was for this type of event.

My wife at the time ultimately pulled our kids out of their elementary school, despite the fact that we lived only about 250 yards away from the school. Rationality wasn't the order of the day at that point.

Of course, we watched the collapse of the various buildings within the WTC that day, but that pretty much sums up the significant, unique aspects of 9/11 for me.

Hurricane Katrina

The weekend tragedy itself doesn't stick out a lot on its own in my mind, but I felt the impetus to travel to Louisiana to help out as a radio operator (based on being a licensed Amateur Radio operator). That was a rough time for my last marriage, though, and I separated from my then-wife a few months later, so I wasn't able to go lend a hand.

Fall of the Soviet Union

Most of this time, I was stationed in Europe (Greece and Spain), and we didn't have a lot of access to the news, so all of this happened without me being able to pay much attention at the time.

The Millennium

First off, I tend to regard dates as arbitrary things, so January 1, 2000, didn't carry a lot of significance for me (especially since the 21st Century didn't begin until January 1, 2001). I don't remember anything specific about this night, although I'm sure it was spent at a friend's house.

John Lennon’s death, Kurt Cobain’s death

John Lennon's assassination was tragic, but I don't recall any particular effect at the time. Cobain's death had much less effect on me than the deaths of Mama Cass, Jimi Hendrix, etc, but that's probably mostly due to generational differences.

All this reminiscing is making me tired. Chew on it while I snooze.


Where's my cane?

I just came to the realization that once our next President is inaugurated, for the first time in my life I'll be older than either the President or the Vice President.

Oh, my.


Monday, September 08, 2008
A few things

First off, hie thee over to Beldar's blog to watch a powerful video.

This is a straightforward explanation why many of us military types have always supported, and continue to support, our efforts in Iraq. It also plainly points out why Senator Obama has no clue what it's all about.

Changing gears a bit, Bingo, one of Bill's commenters on that post, complains that the background music for the end of that video, Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be an American," is getting long in the tooth and should be honorably retired.

To Bingo, I say, "I agree — after someone writes and records something better."

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Comparative experience

Let me be a bit snarky here. I know, I'm betraying my prejudices here, but please indulge me.

Senator Obama is qualified to be President of The United States of America because he's been campaigning for that office for a very, very long time.

At the same time, Sarah Palin is not qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America because she's only been mayor of a small town in Alaska for six years, plus Governor of Alaska for a year and a half.

And Obama has more of the experience necessary to be President of the United States of America than Palin has to be Vice President of the United States of America.

Honestly, how delusional do you have to be to swallow that?


Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Jerry Reed passes away at 71

James Joyner informs us that Jerry Reed has passed away. As I can be a little slow at these things, I'm thinking, "Jerry Reed...Jerry do I remember him?"

"When You're Hot, You're Hot." "Eastbound and Down." "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)." "The Bird."

And of course, "Smokey and the Bandit."

Yes, I grew up with Jerry Reed. Although my default reaction to any question along the lines of "Do you like country music?" usually involves retching, it's an overreaction. Country & Western is definitely a part of my life, as much as I might want to deny it.

There are quite a few country artists who are a part of my life, and although it's been a while since I've heard any of his music, Jerry Reed was certainly an important one of them. Go visit James's post and watch a couple of Jerry Reed's best songs.

You'll be missed, Jerry. Rest in peace.

Update: Chris Byrne has some more of Jerry's music. Man, I forgot how much it meant to me.


Sunday, August 31, 2008
A change in the current

Via Kim Priestap: "The smart liberals are worried. The dumb ones think they've won."

May I be so bold to tweak that quote: "The smart liberals are worried. The dumb ones think they've won. The smart conservatives know they've won."

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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Arsenio Hall on John Edwards

Arsenio Hall on The Tonight Show, talking about former Senator, Vice Presidential nominee and Presidential candidate John Edwards:

"He's a douchebag."

We don't agree on much, Arsenio, but we agree on that.


Friday, August 29, 2008
Looking further down the line

And Tam considers the same point that came to me shortly after learning of Gov Palin's selection as Sen McCain's running mate:

President Palin in 2012. That would be teh awsum. In so many ways.

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Not to say "I told you so"

Umm, Kevin? It looks like McCain wreaked havoc with your prediction, pardner.

At least you can console yourself that she'll be a great VP.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Democratic National Convention

How about this? You watch it, then tell me about it, so I don't have to, mmkay?

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In loving memory
Dr Edward N Garrett
1925 - 2004

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