Saturday, July 23, 2011

Somethings to be thankful for.

That in 49 states you wouldn't have to spend an hour and a half running for your life from a madman on a rather small island.

That is why I own guns.

$1.12 Billion Budget
2359 Agents

US Marine Corps
$29 Billion Budget
202,779 Marines

Be thankful that we DON'T get all the government we pay for.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm still here

Dear Blog,

Sorry I've been gone for so long.  It's been an interesting month.  Yep, I'm back on Chemo.  One more week to go and then I'm off of it for 4 weeks.

But, inspite of that I've still been busy.  After I went to the Blogger shoot, Robert and I went to T-Town (Teutopolis, IL) to see family one weekend and then Peoria to see some of the folks I had served with in Germany.    More on those later.

In fact, I've been typing alot.  Just not on this computer, but on the laptop.  It's pretty much stream of consciousness on several different topics.  All of them are fuzzy and messy and desperately need re-write and editing before they get turned into electrons on the interwebz.

The other thing other then it being summer and being outside and busy is that I've been doing more reading, not just other bloggers and the interwebz stuff, but real dead tree books.  Between War and Peace: How America Ends It's Wars is a series of essays examining the end and aftermath of America's wars, how they ended and the reactions thereafter.  And the consensus is that we are great at winning wars.  We're reeeeaaaallllllyyyyy good at kicking ass and taking names.  However, we pretty much fail after we spike the ball in the endzone. The only time we had anything that even almost, kinda, sorta, maybe had a plan was WWII in Germany.  Although Mr. Morganthau's plan of turning Germany into a land of non--mechanized, peasant farmers quickly fell apart with the start of the Cold War and there were as many "terrorist" attacks in post-war Germany as in Iraq after Gulf WarII.

In GWB's Decision Points he explains the circumstances and the processes he used to arrive at his decisions, and agree or disagree, he sought out opinions, advice and guidance before making decisions, including some that were unpopular.  But I will give him this.  He made all of them based on his principals, not political gain.

There were a couple other books, but nothing worth mentioning.

And I've been sleeping.  These four weeks on suck.  One more to got and then 4 weeks off.

I can't wait.

In the meantime, meet my new hero.  Ron Swanson:


Sunday, July 3, 2011

On the 4th of July

My friend Stephanie sent me a link on facebook about how we, as Americans need a Seder for the 4th of July. Dennis Prager has a good idea about how, like Passover where Jews recall the Exodus from Egypt 3000 years+ ago, we need to recall what happened in 1776.

The war had started on Lexington Common on April 19th, 1775.  It was well over a year later before we declared our Independence.

And when we did, Thomas Jefferson wrote a document that just sings with rhetorical flourishes that fully exemplify what could be called "The American Ethos."
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
 We had had enough of King George III and British rule.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
Go back and read that again.  It clearly states that there is a right, and a duty to rebel when any government becomes onerous and overbearing.

They then listed 28 specific grievances against King George and British rule in America.  Funny thing though is how many would apply today.

They then pointed out that they had tried to resolve the issues, but had been rebuffed and ignored by the King and Parliament, and that by so doing had given the colonies no choice but to declare their independence from Britain.
That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;
Finally, they swore an oath:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
And many did pay dearly as the war raged throughout the colonies.

So this 4th of July weekend, take 10 minutes and conduct the ritual with family and friends to recall why we celebrate.  Then go enjoy the Barbecue and Fireworks.  I guarantee it'll be more meaningful.