Arlington Wreath Project

Since this is December 7th, I can’t think of a better post to make thank this. USS Arizona, Dec 7, 1941 L.B Curtis, L.C. Curtis, RIP…

A Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’

‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’

‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

Nuff Said…

Everett over at Island Voice has an excellent post up about congresscritters and what they are costing us now, and may cost us in the future.

I am in complete agreement with Ev, but howthehell do we get term limits passed???

At the grassroots level, everyone favors it; but try to go any further and you hit the proverbial brick (read congresscritter) wall. I will be the first to admit I don’t know enough about the law and congress to be confident of this, but I ‘think’ this would take an Amendment to actually get it done for all 50 states.

The US Term Limits organization seems to be about the only one out there that is working the issue, and that is primarily at the state level. If you check out their web site, there are a number of states where the critters are trying to overturn/reword the term limits already passed.

I guess once they see the amount of money they can get out of DC, the average critter just can’t let go…

Look at Kennedy, what 40 years plus now for a slob like that- What the hell are the people in Mass thinking, or are they????

I thought it was rather interesting this past week to watch the flailing about over CNN’s screw up and trying to pawn partisan democrats off as uncommitted voters for the You Tube Republican Debate (debacle was more like it).

It was even more interesting to watch the MSM both print and TV and see the lack of coverage… Anybody still think there is no agenda out there to support liberals and democrats????

What ever happened to just reporting the news, not posturing the news or slanting the news to fit one’s agenda???? Huh????

Where is another Edward R. Murrow when we really need one?

There is still a small plaque in the lobby of CBS headquarters in New York City which contains the image of Edward R. Murrow and the inscription: “He set standards of excellence that remain unsurpassed.” During his 25-year career he made more than 5000 broadcasts; and more than anyone else, he invented the traditions of television news. Murrow and his team essentially created the prototype of the TV documentary with See It Now, and later extended the technological reach of electronic newsgathering in Small World (1958-59), which employed simultaneous hookups around the globe to facilitate unrehearsed discussion among several international opinion leaders. Most of Murrow’s See It Now associates were reassembled to produce CBS Reports in 1961, although Murrow was only an infrequent participant in this new series. Over the years, he had simply provoked too many trying situations for CBS and the network’s hierarchy made a conscious decision to reduce his profile. The apparent irony between Edward R. Murrow’s life and the way that he is subsequently remembered today is that the industry that finally had no place for him, now holds Murrow up as their model citizen — the “patron saint of American broadcasting.”

Instead we get Katie Couric… sigh…

Pardon me while I go bang my head against the wall…

Gotta love Southern Humor

This one is simply too good not to post…

And here is some political humor (more or less) to go with it…

‘If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.’ -Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And then suppose you were a member of Congress… But then I repeat myself. -Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free! -P.J. O’Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -Mark Twain (1866 )

Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it. -Unknown

The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -Mark Twain

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of their folly is to fill the world with fools. -Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save Congress. -Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. -Edward Langley, Artist (1928 – 1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -Thomas Jefferson

Another one of THOSE weeks…

This is one of those weeks I shoulda taken vacation…

sigh…

Monday- Late in because I had to pick up a prescription that actually had a refill on it (gee what a novel concept). Get my ass chewed because I missed a meeting; said meeting was CALLED at 0800 and I didn’t get to work till 0900… Week is off to a great start, and oh by the way, I have to be in San Diego tomorrow.

Jump through hoops, get plane ticket, early flight, lousy seats; cheeeep hotel close to meeting.

Miss lunch, start meeting at noon which runs till 1600. Play catch up till 1700, go to lunch finally…

Tuesday- Zero dark 30 get up, haul ass to the airport, of course there is a wreck at the airport off ramp… FINALLY get to the airport, run through, get on just before they close the door, manage to finally find a place for the bag (10 rows behind my seat), get a ‘lovely’ middle seat between an over sized lady and some guy that had WAY too much garlic; why does this remind me of the joke about sardines in the can? Two hours of sitting like Jack Benny and I finally get a chance to get up, so I stroll back aft to get a cup of coffee- Flight attendant is NOT having a good day, so I basically get my cup of coffee and a ration of s**t…

Five plus hours later we finally get to San Diego, I find out I’m the default duty driver for all three of us; except that the car rental agency doesn’t have a car for me or the other 10 people in line. Finally get a car an hour later, so much for priority service.

Get t0 the 1230 meeting at 1300, boss is pissed I’ve made him late…

Engineers don’t understand they have to meet deadlines; get into three way pissing contest us, on site program manager and engineer.

Go sit in the corner before I say something I REALLY shouldn’t say…

Five hours later the three hour meeting STILL isn’t over. The boss is in a high hover, the rest of us are just trying to stay out of the frag pattern when he goes off. Decision is made to continue Wed am so tempers can calm down.

Wed- Wide awake at 0300, can’t get back to sleep, so get up handle work email, etc… Take co-worker back to airport at 0600 so he can get home for wife’s birthday, back to hotel, pickup boss, off to the meeting.

Meeting reconvenes at 0800 and off we go again…

I manage to piss off everybody including the boss by injecting reality into the meeting, it is NOT well received…

Note to self: Get tattoo on forehead- Engineers do not understand reality- engineering never ends, there is no requirement to actually produce anything!

sigh…

Meeting is stopped at 1700 to hold a “management” meeting. I lose the war, but at least I win one battle… okay, maybe a skirmish???

All the way to dinner the boss is gnawing on me, maybe if I get lucky I’ll get fired…

Nope, just get handed a tasker that has every chance to blow up in my face…

Well, at least I don’t have to go back to the meeting tomorrow, I get another sardine can back to the East Coast, no chance in hell of an upgrade, and a 0600 show time.

I get back, I’m gonna go find the masochistic sumbitch that told me I was going to have fun with this job and beat him within .00001 inch of his life…

sigh…

Interesting perspectives…

Well, I stirred up a can of worms at Thanksgiving lunch by accident…

Let me set the stage here. There were probably 25-30 people present ranging in age from 12-89; of those three were in their 80’s (husband-WWII vet 101st Airborne, wife and wife’s sister), fourteen of us between 50 and 60 (six couples, two stragglers; five veterans- primarily Vietnam), six in their mid-20’s (two couples, two stragglers; one National Guard), and three to seven kids 12-17 at various times.

I was asked by the kid in the Guard, who is just back from a second tour, what my perspective was since I work in DC, I told him based on what I was seeing, we were definitely gaining on the problems in Iraq, and Afghanistan was a break even, better if Bhutto gets back in and gets us into the tribal areas where bin Laden is hiding.

One of the old ladies overheard my comment and basically called me a liar, she said that was NOT what she had seen on the news, or read in the papers and how could I possibly know, etc…

The next question I asked was, “Well, what news are you talking about?”

Her answer, echoed by her sister was CBS, NBC, ABC, they didn’t believe cable news.

The wife of the lawyer in our age group piped up that she agreed, because she listened to NPR and they were ‘official sources’ so they had to be right. She also said she watched a lot of the news shows; Oprah, Dr. Phool, etc. and they all said we were losing.

The former Recon Marine, whose son asked the original question, jumped in and said he agreed with me, so did the rest of the veterans. Of course the lawyer just had to jump in, and he pretty much parrotted the “we’ve lost and need to bring the boys home, it was all about oil and no WMDs, and, and…

The 89 year old rather succinctly called B.S. on the lawyer in language I won’t use here 🙂 He then started in on his wife and sister about how they were being brainwashed by TV and the papers and that they needed to listen to the people who were actually there.

The wife of the kid in the Guard spoke up, and she said everything she was hearing from the other wives was that progress was being made, but it was slow and dangerous. She admitted she had been scared s**tless while her husband had been gone, but believed in him and the Commanders that it was the right thing. The other young couple agreed, and said they were getting their information from the Internet and cable.

One of the wives in our age group chimed in that she listened to talk radio and regularly surfed the Internet to stay abreast of what was happening. She also said they almost never watched the mainstream media, just CNN, Fox News, Discovery and History channels, and sports.

The seventeen year old boy was asked what he thought and he indicated he wanted to go into the Marines like his dad had done. When asked why, he gave a rather interesting answer for a 17 year old- “Well, I see what kind of a man it made my Daddy, and I don’t think I could do better, and a lot of the teachers don’t tell the truth in class. I know I’m not ready to go to college, so if I go in the Marines, I’ll learn a lot and get money for college too. I’m not scared of the fighting, or guns, cause we’ve always had guns and Daddy taught me right.”

Of course Daddy was beaming, and so was Momma, but Grandmother threw an absolute hissy fit…

Bottom line I gathered- Media definitely controls viewpoints. The older generation that is not computer literate and doesn’t watch cable are getting nothing but the MSM point of view. Lawyers and soccer moms are tending the same way adding NPR to the mix. Working parents and veterans are using their experiences, cable news and the Internet to form an opinion based on multiple inputs. The younger generation is living the war with family members going over, and they are using the Internet and networking to get the real scoop unfiltered by any media organizations.



An Important Reminder

This from an article by Ralph Peters- Lawdog also had a post alluding to this from Michael Yon’s website…

As Thanksgiving approaches, consider a vignette from Baghdad:

As part of its campaign to eliminate Iraq’s Christian communities, alQaeda in 2004 bombed St. John’s Christian church in Doura, in the city’s southern badlands. By last spring, local services had stopped completely.

Our Army’s 2nd Battalion of the 12th Infantry stepped up. Under Lt. Col.Stephen Michael (a Newark native), our soldiers methodically cleaned upDoura – no easy or painless task – and aided the reconstruction of the church.

Last week, a grateful congregation returned for a service that was, literally, a resurrection. Fifteen local Muslim sheikhs attended theMass to support their Christian neighbors. Could there be a more hopeful symbol?

Those long-suffering Iraqi Christians will celebrate Christmas in theirneighborhood church this year. “Peace on earth” will mean more to themthan mere words in a carol.

As for the grunts of 2-12 Infantry who made it all possible, their mottois “Ducti Amore Patria,” or “Having been led by love of country.”

On Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for such men.

As we sit down where ever we are for Thanksgiving, please take a moment to remember all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines around the world who are spending their Thanksgiving far from home while keeping the USA safe and free!

Attention!

Hand Salute!

Ready Two!

Dismissed!

Firearms Refresher

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
3 Colt: The original point and click interface.
4 Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.
5. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
6. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
7. If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.
8. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
9. The United States Constitution (c)1791. All Rights Reserved .
10. What part of “shall not be infringed ” do you not understand?
11. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.
12. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
13. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.
14. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.
15. You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
16. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
17. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
18. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.
19. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
20. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
21. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.
22. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don’t make more.
23. When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.
24 . The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

In the latest political smear campaign, Billary’s camp is now claiming Robert Novak really invented the “bad” things they were holding back about Barak Hussein Obama, that her camp has, “nothing to do with any rumor mill.” Strange…

This sounds just like Bill’s campaign tactics against Bush and others over the years…

On another note, gotta love the Ninth Circus out in CA, once again they have decided to save the whales and kill the sailors through lack of training. I REALLY wonder whose side they are on…

Discworld

It’s 0100 in Sydney, I’m bored, tired and waiting on work email, so I was popping through a few blogs and saw that Lawdog via LaFemme had found a Discworld quiz. Since I just finished reading Soul Music on the airplane from Perth, I figured why not…

After the last three weeks, I feel more like the Librarian than any other- Juggling too many pieces and too many potentials for things to go wrong… and if I see another banana anytime soon; well, I’m NOT going to be responsible. That seemed to be the only fruit available in the hotel on most mornings. Oh yeah, and I have NOT been good natured either…

Well, after three weeks of Cricket, I STILL don’t get it…

Sigh…


Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Carrot Ironfounderson

You are Captain Carrot Ironfounderson of the City Watch in the greatest city on the Disc, Ankh-Morprok! A truly good natured, honest guy, who knows everyone, and is liked by all. Technically a dwarf, but only by adoption. You’d rather not be reminded that you are the true heir to the throne, but that does explain why people naturally follow your order.

Carrot Ironfounderson

75%

Commander Samuel Vimes

63%

Greebo

56%

Lord Havelock Vetinari

50%

Gytha (Nanny) Ogg

50%

The Librarian

50%

Cohen The Barbarian

44%

Rincewind

31%

Death

31%

Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax

31%

Gun musings…

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense The sword is more important that the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. (John Steinbeck)

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he’s too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

America is not at war, the US Military is at war. America is at the mall.

When the seconds count, the cops are just minutes away. Shoot first, THEN call 911, your odds of survival are MUCH greater that way.

A reporter did a human interest piece on the Texas Rangers years ago, the Ranger was carrying a 1911, which the reporter recognized, and asked, “Why do you carry a .45?” The Ranger’s laconic anwer, “Because they don’t make a .46.”

An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

A Sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented to him, “Sheriff, I see you have your pistol, are you expecting trouble?” “No Ma’am, if I was expecting trouble, I’d have brought my rifle.”

And lastly, beware the man with only one gun, most of the bluing worn away; he probably knows how to use it (my Grandpa sure as hell did).

My favorite Airplanes

Since everybody ELSE is playing… NRAhab posted an interesting twist on Kim’s meme about beautiful cars. Since I’m off early, I’ll jump in too- Mine are a little different, in that I have personal connections to each of my selections…

5. DC-3 easy to fly and very forgiving, I flew one for the first time in 1967 as a 16 year old. Morphed into a damn good weapons platform (Puff the Magic Dragon). Callsign in Nam was Spooky. My Uncle flew them 1964-66 at England AFB and later in Nam.

4. P-47 Butt ugly, airborne tank, but brought a lot of folks home, including a close family friend. Callsign was usually Jug, since they resembled milk jugs from the 1930’s. Our friend had a picture of himself sitting on the wing of his bird, dangling his feet THROUGH a hole in the wing after he landed. He said he was jokingly called Lead Ass, because he almost always returned with holes in the airplanes from a variety of things including at least one tree limb.

3. AD-1 Built as a one way nuclear bomber, performed superbly as CAS in Nam. One of my co-workers calls this the best airplane he ever flew in combat. The Navy called them Spads or Sandy’s depending on the mission. This one is loaded for a CAS alert 5 on the Connie sometime in 1964. Centerline is 1000lb bomb, outboard are 300 gal. drop tanks, 2-500lb and 4-250lb bombs per wing. Callsign in Nam was normally Sandy.


2. F-4 Phantom II, a refrigerator with wings, negative glide ratio, did it all- interception, CAS, pinpoint bombing, and ugly as hell too! Came aboard the boat at 157 kts (180 mph) in a clean configuration. I have about 20 hours in the back seat, including a couple of supersonic passes. Known as Big Smokey, because you could see the smoke trails for 4-5 miles from the J-79’s when not in burner.

1. And my number one favorite- P-3 Orion, I had 7700 hours in them on active duty and another 1000 or so as a Special Missions crewman; and they always got me home 🙂 And yes, we routinely flew rather low… This pic is from 1974, inbound to start a TORPEX off Kauai. The P-3 entered service in 1962 and is still flying today, doing a multitude of jobs. Overland supporting the troops in the sandbox, ASW around the world, SAR around the world, and comms, EW and Customs support worldwide.