Fun Stuff…

Go over to Deathlok’s blog and check out the Collaborative Blog Story is up at his place, and I have to admit, it’s starting to look pretty damned good. This is quite a bit different from the Perspectives series done by Law Dog, Mattt, AD and Babs a while back. This one is basically a stream of consciousness collaborative, so feel free to jump in! We need somebody to be the bad guy… hint… hint… Murph if you’re not busy…

I saw one of these on another forum go to over 110 pages.

Memorial Day…

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”.

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.

It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program).

And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

Washington, DC is also home to two more ‘celebrations’ of Memorial Day; each special in it’s own way. I have been lucky enough to attend both, so I have a point of reference for each.

First is the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. This is traditionally done by the President if available, and is a very solemn occasion, with a myriad of official and military guests, including a large number of veterans.

This photo, courtesy of the DOD, shows a Tomb Guard marching his post in front of the wreath and tomb. Today, President Bush delivered an excellent speech after he assisted in placing of the wreath.

The second is called Rolling Thunder, and is a memorial, celebration and political pressure group to bring our POW’s remains home. It is normally the Sunday before Memorial Day, and has been going on for 21 years now. Yesterday, over 100,000, yes one hundred thousand motorcycles of all descriptions started lining up at the Pentagon North Parking lot well before sunrise. They were there to participate in the ride to the reflecting pool and parade across the Memorial Bridge and by the Vietnam memorial. This one is by turns solemn, raucous, funny, poignant, and sometimes startling. Yesterday, a SSGT Chambers stood in his Marine Dress uniform for over 4 hours, saluting the riders as they came by his location.

These folks come from all over the US and it’s territories to ride in rememberance of their fallen Vietnam comrades and it has become something quite a bit more than a bunch of dirty old motorcycle guys causing trouble, which is the way it was originally percieved in 1987.

Now it is for many, a tradition, they come hell or high water ( and this year tornados and hail in the Midwest), but the ride on in to ride yesterday and start the long ride home today or tomorrow.

I talked to two couples in their 60’s from Western Idaho who have made this “pilgrimage” as they call it for 16 years. Both the men are former Army Rangers, who use their entire yearly vacation for the trip. Neither one of the wives had ANY problem with it, and have been riding with them for the last 10 years. All of them are VERY proud of the kids today, and thankful they are being treated better than we were after nam.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, but take a minute to reflect on those Servicemen and women who gave their lives over the years so that you HAVE that Freedom today.

Some say this is not true, but I believe it is!

POW’s / MIA’s YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN

It was the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

That is all.

Can somebody ‘splain this to me????

Remember the election in 2006? A little over two years ago:

1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;

2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;

3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:

1) Consumer confidence plummet;

2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.75 a gallon;

3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);

4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fun losses);

5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;

6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.

America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!
Remember, Congress makes laws, not the President. He has to work with what’s handed to him; and in the hate Bush environment of the congresscritters, he hasn’t been handed I lot that I can describe in this blog…

Part 2:

Taxes…Whether Democrat or a Republican you will find these statistics enlightening and amazing.

http://www.%20taxfoundation.%20org/publications/show/151.%20html

Taxes under Clinton 1999 Taxes under Bush 2008
Single making 30K, tax $8,400 Single making 30K, tax $4,500
Single making 50K, tax $14,000 Single making 50K, tax $12,500
Single making 75K, tax $23,250 Single making 75K, tax $18,750
Married making 60K, tax $16,800 Married making 60K, tax $9,000
Married making 75K, tax $21,000 Married making 75K, tax $18,750
Married making 125K, tax $38,750 Married making 125K, tax $31,250

BOTH democratic candidates will return to the higher tax rates. It is amazing how many people that fall into the categories above think Bush is screwing them and Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever. If Obama or Hillary are elected, they both say they will repeal the Bush tax cuts and a good portion of the people that fall into the categories above can’t wait for it to happen.

This is like the movie The Sting with Paul Newman; you scam somebody out of some money and they don’t even know what happened. Only problem is, this is not a movie…

Additionally, the Congresscritters called the oil company execs before the Senate today again today- Lots of ranting, raving, knashing of teeth, etc. and passing a bill to investigate OPEC for price fixing, all while Goldman Sachs bets on $200/barrel for oil futures…

Oh by the way, last time I looked, OPEC is not a US company, nor subject to any kind of anti-trust laws…

Also, they didn’t like it when the oil execs brought up REAL issues-

From the Chevron exec- “What we need is the reduction of barriers to investment. I mean, there are a bunch of barriers of investment to the United States: Eighty-five percent of the offshore is off-limits.

I’m now four years into trying to get a permit to expand the refinery in California. Four years! (Or, we’re into our fourth year, so I guess it’s three or three point something years.)

In that same time Reliance Energy in India has built a 600,000 barrel a day refinery from scratch, and they’re about to start it up. “

From the Shell exec- There are one trillion barrels of oil available for drilling in one location in the US, if we could drill and build refineries, the price would drop to about $50 a barrel.

Of course that generated no response from the senators, just more ranting, etc.

At some point the silent majority (us!) has got to get up on our hind legs and tell these congresscritters to authorize new refineries, new drilling permits, and more nuclear power plants! If we don’t, the next generations will suffer for our stupidity!

Go check this one out!!!!

Raqstar!

Mike the Marine over at From the Hall to the Shores created an excellent video/slideshow that every single one of you must watch.

Go!

h/t Wyatt and Murph

That is all.

Tagged again…

Snigs over at Snig’s Spot tagged me with the new 2008 edition of getting to know your family and Friends!

Here is what you are supposed to do,and try not to be lame and spoil the fun.
Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

1. What is your occupation? Indentured Servant (work for the Navy)

2. What color are your socks right now? None, boat shoes

3. What are you listening to right now? New Orleans Jazz.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Catfish fillet

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Work related call

7. Do you like the person who tagged you? Yep, she’s a cutie

8. How old are you today? 56

9. What is your favorite sport to watch? Depends on the season- Don’t care for the pros anymore, but like college sports (Go SEC!)

10. What is your favorite drink? 21 year old The Macallan scotch. Wishing it was the 30 year old, but that’s outta my price range…

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Nope, not enough left to fool with.

12. Last time you hugged your child? A couple of weeks ago, the last time I saw them.

13. Favorite food? Burger and Fries.

14. What was the last movie you watched? What ever was showing on FLT 804 from Narita to DC…

15. Favorite day of the year? A day off

16. How do you vent anger? Shooting range 🙂

17. What was your favorite toy as a child? Tonka truck

18. What is your favorite season? Summer

19. Ocean or pool? Ocean

20. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries

21. Do you want your family & friends to participate? Up to y’all

22. Who is the most likely to respond? ??

24. Living arrangements? Single, living out of a suitcase 170+ days a year

25. When was the last time you cried? I don’t honestly remember

26. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, boots, several guns and empty luggage.

27. Who is the family or friend you have known the longest that you are tagging? None.

28. What did you do last night? Read and watched news (boring)

29. Hawaii or Florida? Neither? Lived in both, left nothing behind…

30. What inspires you? The active duty Fleet Sailors and Marines I have the pleasure of working with!

31. What are you most afraid of? Tornado.

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, French Fries, Pepsi, no Coke… Sorry, flash back there.

33. Favorite dog breed? German Shepherds

34. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

35 How many states have you lived in? a bunch…

36 Do you like these questionnaires? Sometimes.

37. What kind of car did your very first date drive? 1963 Corvair Spyder.

38. What is the Last book you read? Downhill Lies, Carl Hiaasen

39. What are your hobbies? Golf, shooting, sailing, antique and classic cars

40. Can you still make the Hula Hoop stay around your waist? Beats the hell outta me

I’m not tagging anyone, but feel free to jump in!

Honoring our Veterans…

Go here to here the song and see the photos…

Here is the back story:

The elderly parking lot attendant wasn’t in a good mood, neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray Beach,Fla., eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and musician,was bone tired after appearing at an event.

He pulled up in his car,and the parking attendant began to speak. ‘I took two bullets for this country and look what I’m doing,’ he said bitterly. At first, Bierstock didn’t know what to say to the World War II veteran. But he rolled down his window and told the man, ‘Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.’

Then the old soldier began to cry.’That really got to me,’ Bierstock says. Cut to today. Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach – a member of Bierstock’s band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band, have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot.

The mournful ‘Before You Go’ does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

“If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,” says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. ‘The WW II soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.”

The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans,their sons and daughters and grandchildren.

“It made me cry,” wrote one veteran’s son. Another sent an e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine would he discuss ‘ the unspeakable horrors’ he and other soldiers had witnessed in places such as Anzio, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Omaha Beach. “I can never thank them enough,” the son wrote. “Thank you for thinking about them.”

Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, maybe a Lee Greenwood type, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web.

They’ve sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in Washington. Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a Veterans Day tribute – this after just a few days on the Web. They hope every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.

That is all.

Follow-up to appeasment and flog…er golf…

Well, the democraps continue to spew hate and discontent…

One wonders how this will allow B. Hussein to “demonstrate” his foreign policy credentials as promised by his campaign? Is he going to talk the terrorists to death?

sigh…

And McCain is being accused of a “cheap shot” and “negative” campaigning for agreeing with President Bush… Does anyone else see just a wee tiny credibility gap here, or is it just me?

The more I see or don’t see of the democrap policies, both foreign and domestic, the more worried I become about where we might end up if they are elected! These folks are absolutely scary; they actually believe their own press releases!

Anyhoo, I finally got a chance to play golf with my new clubs yesterday…

First and foremost, I am NOT a good golfer, I’m your average hacker. Having said that, it was pretty stoopid of me to go play a very narrow golf course that had not cut the rough in a week (think 5 inches high, multiple lost balls and wedges to ‘try’ to get back in the fairway) and with wind blowing 20+ miles an hour…

For those that don’t play, golf (or flog) depends on which swing shows up, the one you spent all that money for, or the baseball swing you learned as a six year old…

Golf courses by their nature are an exercise in self-flagellation, even on a good day; much less a bad day. When you throw in new clubs, it gets even more interesting (or funnier if you are watching).

First hole, a little ‘fade’ on the driver (translation- that sucker took off for the right rough like a scalded dog)… Hmm, ankle deep grass, everybody looking, no golf ball. Okay, drop and hit three- Thick, wet rough grabs the club head and off to the other side of the fairway we go. I’m playing military golf- left, right, left, right…

Meanwhile my playing partner is accusing me of screwing up his swing because he’s laughing so hard at me…

sigh…

So it goes… it gets a little better, and I actually hit a couple of fairways, but inevitably, I’m either long or short on the approaches (you are supposed to ‘know’ how far you can hit your irons)…

Finally get to the 9th hole, it’s uphill, with a 20 mph cross wind- Woods on the right, parking lot with a whole bunch of expensive cars on the left. I aim for the woods, and miracle of miracles, hit one straight… Wind brings it back and lands in the middle of the green! Where I promptly three putt %$^^&*….

Oh well, half way done, grab a dog and turn down a beer (not that it can get much worse), and press on.

More military golf, but I’m at least finding the golf ball (for better or worse). I actually tried to hit one shot out of the wet rough where my feet slipped and I just barely caught the bottom of the ball with the top of the iron and it landed six feet behind me, thanks to the wind…

On the 15th hole, another fade to the right, as I get up near where the ball took off, I see a car sitting there. O.M.G. I’ve hit a car and busted something… Instead the guys says he saw my ball rolling back down the road toward the creek! So off we go, 200 yards in the wrong direction, sure nuff, there sits the ball at the bottom of the hill, at least 50 yards BEHIND where I teed off from… Lovely, just $%^* lovely!

Thanks to a well placed tree and a bank shot, I survive that hole only 2 over par…

Finally get to the 18th hole, par 4 uphill, into the wind. As usual, in the rough, but to the left this time. Hit a good iron shot out of the rough, and up the hill we go! Two balls on the green, one in the sand trap, no fourth ball… Of course, it’s mine that is missing…

sigh…

I’m picking up, I tell the rest of the group, having had enough for one day.

My partner goes over to pull the pin for the putts, starts laughing and yells at me to come back to the green; low and behold, sitting in the cup is my Titleist 8 for a Eagle 2 on the final hole!!!

Guess I’ll be back next week!

Oh yeah, the little old lady playing in the foursome with us beat me by six strokes… sigh…

Marine Drill and political crap…

The Marines can teach ANYTHING to march…

On another note- President Bush made an interesting statement today while speaking to the Knesset, “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before.”

“As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history,” he said, referring to Idaho Republican Sen. William Borah’s comments in 1939.

Of course the Democraps were immediately up in arms… B. Hussein thought it was a personal attack on him… Note to B. Hussein- Hey Bud, you ain’t the center of the universe; you need to take a chill pill!

Some other Demo Congresscritter apparently called BS on the statement- My comment to him- Once again the Democraps are ignoring the truth, and will only bring death and destruction into the US with their plans…

Of course they will hide behind their guards, scream for Secret Service protection, etc. while the American public takes the brunt of the death and destruction.

I sometimes wonder if ANY ONE of those Congresscritters has ANY perception of reality that is not governed by how much money they can rake in, what their precious push polls say, and how much MORE power they can get for themselves.

sigh….

Kicking soapbox back in the corner for now and looking for the BP medicine…

Gas crisis solution…

President Bush wants us to cut the amount of gas we use.

The best way to stop using so much gas is to deport 11 million illegal immigrants!

That would be 11 million less people using our gas. The price of gas would come down.

Bring our troops home from Iraq to guard the Border.

When they catch an illegal immigrant crossing the border, hand him a canteen, rifle and some ammo and ship him to Iraq . Tell him if he wants to come to America then he must serve a tour in the military. Give him a soldier’s pay while he’s there and tax him on it.

After his tour, he will be allowed to become a citizen since he defended this country. He will also be registered to be taxed and be a legal patriot. This option will probably deter illegal immigration and provide a solution for the troops in Iraq and the aliens trying to make a better life for themselves.

If they refuse to serve, ship them to Iraq anyway, without the canteen, rifle or ammo.

Problem solved.

In my dreams maybe… sigh…

Generations of Valor…

If this does not get your attention, I don’t know what will…

This Picture is Worth a Million Words…

We truly take a lot for granted. Forget the football ‘heroes’ and movie ‘stars’. Pass this on so that all may know the price of freedom. One generation of heroes consoling another generation…

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you,

Jesus Christ and the American Soldier

One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

Nuff said…