Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

Then come right in...


These are my Mission Statements.


These are my longer "deep-dive" articles on specific subjects so they don't get lost.


The fun stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

22 A Day

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The US Military is fantastic for programming our soldiers be effective in killing the enemies of the United States.

The deprogramming and reintegration back into society part they haven't figured out yet.

As a consequence, twenty-two veterans a day complete suicide. I suspect what they go through is very similar to this short. I know what it's like to be mentally tortured by yourself. In my case, the particulars weren't the same, but the end result almost was. Watch this to the end.

If you know a veteran who is struggling, help them reach out to get the help they need.

How stupid people can be right... sometimes

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This came across my Facebook feed the other day. An Adam Ruins Everything on How the Electoral College Ruins Democracy. He rails against the Electoral College in presidential politics in this particular video and how some votes are "worth more" than others.

He is correct, the EC does ruin Democracy, and that's the whole point of its existence. Just not the way he thinks so.

The United States is NOT a Democracy, it is a Republic. While they share some aspects, at their core they are totally different approaches to government.

Democracy is mob rule. Whatever the mob wants, the mob gets. If someone could at election time get 51% of the voters to vote "yes" to a proposal which reads, "Starting at Noon tomorrow, any citizen who brings a dead [insert minority of your choice] to the steps of the county courthouse will receive a $50 bounty, no limit," that would become law and upheld as law until 51% of the voters say otherwise. No court could overturn the law (if courts even existed), because the only standard of law in a Democracy is the "will of the people."

The fact that we don't have such a law on the books is proof that we are a Republic.

Our Constitution was written so that it is hard on purpose to make laws. Gridlock is supposed to be the norm. On the State and Federal levels, you have a bicameral (two houses) Legislative branch that proposes laws. Each of these houses have to have a simple majority to pass a bill and send it to the Executive branch for approval. The President/Governor has a say in the matter by either signing it into law or rejecting it using their Veto power. If the President/Governor does veto a bill, the Legislative branch can override the veto and make it a law with a 2/3rds majority in both houses.

The Representatives of the House represent the People. Congressmen are elected by popular vote in the Congressional districts of each State. The power of the House is all spending bills must first be first introduced in the House. The size of the House was set at 435 members in 1911, because the Constitution says "a Congressional District will consist of no more than 30,000 people." If we stuck with that ratio today, the House would have over 10,000 Representatives. These 435 members are assigned proportionally to each state by proportion of the population.

The Senators in the Senate were elected by the Legislatures of the State and supposed to represent the interest of the States. They have the power to conduct foreign affairs by approving or not approving treaties with other governments. They also provide consent to the President by approving or not approving his nominations for judicial positions and senior Administration officials.

This setup means both the People and the State governments were represented in the Legislative branch of the Federal Government. The EC is an extension of that, because the EC is made up of 538 votes (each states Representatives and Senators, plus three for the District of Columbia) and for 48 states is set as a "winner take all" setup. Maine and Nebraska have a "semi-proportional" setup, where each Congressional district elects by majority, then the winner of the overall state vote receives the two votes representing the Senators.

Through this method, it is impossible for the government to drastically change its political leaning from a single election. It takes a constant effort of the People over three Federal election cycles (six years) to effect enough changes in their representatives in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal government to achieve that shift.

This way the course of the government does not change on the momentary whim of the People, President or a single house of Congress. Thus, this is an insulation against mob rule.

Our Founding Fathers wanted to prevent mob rule and rule of a king, both of which can be capricious and arbitrary. They wanted to have long periods of political discussion, followed by a vote to determine the overall will of the people. The People are supposed to be well-read and informed about the current events and at the appropriate time, to elect others to represent them and carry out the work of government according to the general will of the People.

The job of a Citizen is to keep their mouth open. This is performed by civil discussion among the People and with their representatives in all levels of government. If you don't communicate with your representatives, or vote in elections, you are not protesting, you are surrendering your power as a Citizen.

Think about that the next time you stay home on Election Day.


To all my battle brothers and sisters

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So it came to pass, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of the Year of Our Lord 1918, the guns fell silent and the Great War ended.

The Great War was not called World War I until World War II came about. It was meant to be "the war to end all wars."

Veterans day started as Remembrance Day, and is still called such in Canada and other countries.

Memorial Day is when we pay homage to those who have fought for our country and have gone on before us. Veterans Day is for those who have done so and still walk among us.

I just found this, "So God Made A Patriot" narrated by Fred Thompson. Please watch and enjoy.

Crisis Intervention Team

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Yesterday, a story was broadcast on The PBS NewsHour Weekend Edition. It was on the Crisis Intervention Team, which are police officers trained how to handle and deescalate a situation involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

I used those services in my dark days during 1999-2002. I was on a first name basis with these guys. It was this program that kept me in the hospital when I needed to be there and not in the county lockup, with an arrest record and probably a couple of felonies on me.

Here is the article. I show up about 7:30:

If I had acquired the felonies I had earned back then, I might be getting out of prison about now. I would not have been who I am now if I had that holding me back.

The CIT is one of the groups of people that not only kept me alive, but helped me get the help I needed. My wife, my friends and the CIT helped me become the advocate I am today. I am honored that I get to pay back my debt to them by being part of one of the classes the future CIT officers go through to be CIT certified.

If your local police or Sheriff's office does not have a CIT program, urge them to contact the Memphis Police Department CIT program today.

You reap what you sow

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Winston Churchill defined a fanatic as, "... one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Finley Dunne said, "A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case."

An activist is at least three steps beyond a fanatic. They are on a crusade for their cause, and nothing, nothing will keep them from completing their quest. Activists see offenders of their cause behind every tree and under every rock.

And when you're an anti-rape activist, who views every male as a rapist, it can be hard to hook up with a guy.

Do I believe rape happens? Yes. Do I believe rapists be punished severely? You betcha. My starting ideas will give you nightmares. The witnesses will be begging for mercy by the time I'm done warming up and ready to get down to business.

Rape is not about sex. It's about power and control. A rapist violates the victims body and psyche. There is no reason or excuse for this.

But what about when the "victim" is actually having a case of "buyer's remorse"? When a person consensually hooks up in a passionate moment, then afterwards worries about what their parents, friends, etc. will say? When "rape" is accused by the "victim" to try and assuage the guilt or deflect responsibility away from them, what are the consequences?. This false accusation will falsely and irrevocably stains the reputation and character of the "attacker" for life, even when they are fully vindicated.

Now I want you to go back and reread the last three paragraphs. Did you see any personal pronouns? "He," "she," his," or "hers?" You didn't, because the sex, biologically or declared of either the rapist or victim has no bearing my position about this. A girl can rape another girl just as savagely as a man could. A girl can rape a man as well. Don't give me "the vast majority" garbage, because when you do, you just re-traumatized that person who was really raped and shattered because you just discounted what happened to them.

So, when you carry yourself and your words imply if not outright declare a man is a rapist for the sole reason he has a penis, don't be surprised that men refuse to have anything to do with you. I have heard the ultra-feminists scream since I came of age in the 70's that "all PIV (penis in vagina) sex is rape." I have heard them say, "All men are rapists. They might not have actually done it, but they are only one erection away from raping a woman."

So when these guys hear about your activism and "you know the chief-of-police," men don't want to be in the same county as you, because he knows with one mistake on his part, or one misinterpreted signal on her part and he is ruined for the next 50 years from a rape accusation.

Be very careful in what you select as a cause and how passionate you are about it. It can have unwanted consequences to you and those around you.

Duplicious Liberals

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By and large, if a Liberal is trying to sell you something, they're lying about it. Even to other Liberals.

Remember when they pushed "wind power"? How clean and efficient it would be? Did they mention the hundreds of birds that would be swatted out of the sky by the spinning blades? Did they mention the energy consumed in their contstruction and transportation would be more than they could produce in their entire service life? Did you notice how they fight to keep those wind turbines from where they can't actually see them, which would lower their home values?

Here's another example: Ivanpah Solar Power Plant. Consuming 5 1/2 square miles of desert wilderness, thousands of mirrors focus sunlight on the tops of three towers, the concentrated light boiling water to make steam and run electrical generators. That was the theory, anyway.

You probably don't know too much about the production side of electricity. In order to provide the steady, reliable 115 volts of electricity at your outlets, power plants have to constantly vary their output as far as amperage goes by the second, because the load (consumption) varies second-to-second as people turn things on and off. If the load jumps upward drastically and the production does not follow suit, you have a brownout and your voltage drips from a nominal 115 to say 100 volts. This can prove catastrophic to some equipment. Likewise, if the consumption drops suddenly and the production does not follow, the voltage will then jump upward and again, ruined equipment.

There are three basic types of plants, each to cover specific parts of the cycle as power demand increases and decreases. The coal and nuclear plants are the backbone of our production. These plants run 24/7/365, and they are taken off-line only for maintenance. As the demand rises, oil burning plants are brought on line. While these plants run for extended periods, they don't run all the time because oil is more expensive than coal or nuclear. Peak demand is met by natural gas plants. This fuel is the most expensive and is thus run only at periods of highest demand.

Whenever a plant is brought on-line, it has to be started, brought up to speed and then the phase of the plant must be matched to the phase of the power that is already out there on the grid. If the phase is mismatched, it can destroy end-user (your) equipment. This is not like your automobile, where it takes less than ten seconds from turning the key to on the road. Depending on the production capability of the plant and the type of fuel, this can be from an hour to several hours to complete this process.

Back to Ivanpah. Because there is a huge variability in the amount of sunlight, there is a natural gas plant there, to "pre-heat" the water and also take over entirely if the solar production drops suddenly, as when a cloud rolls across the mirrors.

Let's talk price tag. To build this plant, about $2 Billion has been spent, in loan guarantees and tax breaks by the government.

In its first eight months of operation, it produced 254,263 Megawatt-hours of electricity. The wholesale price of electricity in that region of the country averages about $50 per Megawatt-hour. According to my trusty calculator, if the Ivanpah plant operated with no maintenance costs, no payroll for workers, no natural gas costs and no interest on the loans, at that rate it would take 105 years to pay off the investment. Of course, there are costs of maintenance, payroll, natural gas and so on. Even figuring 25% of the gross income (which is a staggering amount) to payback on interest free loans, that $2 Billion will be paid off in... 419 years. Let me say that again: It will take over four hundred and nineteen years of continuous operation by that plant before a profit can start to be made.

Here's where they lie to other Liberals:

It was these same California Liberals who caused their own fresh water shortage because they dumped a trillion gallons of drinking water down a river and into the ocean to stabilize the river temperature and preserve an endangered fish species, spent $56 Million to relocate an endangered desert turtle species off the Ivanpah site. Also, 3,500 birds were cooked mid-air in the first year just because they flew over the site.

Here's the kicker. To sell the site, those Liberals said that only "about 5 percent" of the heat generated to boil the water would come from burning that evil natural gas. Once reality kicked in, they had to go to the California Energy Commission (the body that regulates the power companies) and quietly ask for that 5 percent be changed to 38 percent, a seven-fold increase.

The bottom line is a relatively small power plant that uses no new experimental technology, that actually uses more fossil fuel and emits more CO2 than a conventional plant of the same size burning the same fuel, at a grossly enormous construction cost, not to mention the massive ecological damage to the local wildlife.

Am I missing something? Other than making the Liberals involved feel better, what was the supposed benefit of this boondoggle and is there any hope that Ivanpah can ever meet any of it's stated goals?

I didn't think so.

Took some hits this week

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I posted up on Facebook at 1AM this morning (that's the 1am BEFORE the time change) that I was having difficulty sleeping. This is why:

On Tuesday, I was interviewed for a weekend news article by PBS about the Crisis Intervention Team. During that interview, I talked about a lot of things that were going on in my life at the time I "partook" of the CIT's services. Today, I participate in a presentation for about two hours of their 40 hours of training to give them a clear insight into what's going on inside someone who is having a crisis. I did one of these classes and then I was interviewed right after. The interview by itself was quite intense and draining for me emotionally.

When I have to speak to a group of people, I can "turn up" my mania somewhat so I am outgoing, happy, funny and all that. But I pay a price for that manic swing. For several days afterward I am "depressive." Not a full blown depression, just a taste of the worst parts.

One of the subjects I covered in the interview was my relationship with my sister. She is eight years older than I and the last time I spoke with her was on her birthday in December of 2002. I was fresh out of my last hospitalization and I had called her to wish her a happy birthday. There were icicles hanging off my phone by the end of the call, her response, while polite, left no ambiguity about our relationship. Because, you see, I called her once while I was hospitalized, begging for help. Her response was, "You're faking it." When I started really getting out of control and violent, my wife wanted to send our son up to my sisters, so he could have a stable childhood and she could concentrate on getting me the help I needed. My sister refused to take our son in, because, "I don't want 'him' [me] showing up at the house."

The last time I exchanged emails with her, I received the same response, polite and very cold. She even said, "Do not friend my children (who were 38-42 years old then) on Facebook, your radical views (this blog) might hurt their careers."

The next day was the 14th anniversary of my fathers passing. He died sometime on that Sunday morning, in my sisters home in Hospice. I was in the hospital (yet again) and called to try and speak with him, when my oldest nephew who answered the phone told me, "Grandpa died overnight."

My father was a stoic, quiet man who got things done without fanfare or notoriety. A Navy veteran of WWII, he started out as a welder, worked his way up to shop foreman, then graduated into the front office and told the fabrication shop how to do their job. His sense of humor was very quiet and punny. He would hit you with a pun and be out of range before you understood what he really said.

Right before he retired and I joined the Navy, my mom and dad were taking a walk around the neighborhood, and stopped to talk with a neighbor. The neighbor asked him, "Garth, now that you're retiring, what are you going to do as a hobby?" My dad looked left, then right, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sex." About a month after that, the Pastor's wife (we both sung in the church choir, the Pastor and his family lived down the street from us) came up to me after the service and asked me, "How is your fathers hobby going?" I said something like, "All day, every day."

Growing up, I never had everything I wanted, but I did have everything I needed. I suspect he had Asperger's Syndrome. He was a 60 year Mason, and Master of a lodge he was a charter member of. He tried to interest me in Masonry several times and I never took him up on it. It took me digging through his things seven years after he passed to find a set of his old Masonic books. At that moment, I swear I could feel his hand on my shoulder and his voice in my ear, "It's time you joined." I started the process to become a Mason that afternoon. It has been his legacy that has driven me to become Master of my lodge, to be able to understand and perform the ritual and become a better man, citizen, husband, father. Dad, I miss you.

Do not worry, this will pass. Hurt and regret are scars that heal over time, yet when you move a certain way, the scars let you know they are still there. Such is the case here. Thank you to all who responded to my prayer request this morning.

Ben Fields Followup

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I have been in a discussion with another person about the whole Ben Fields issue. This other person is totally convinced that the officer used too much force in dealing with the disobedient student.

For the record, I have enjoyed the discussion, it has been civil, respectful and polite. Some others break Godwin's Law in less than three exchanges. This one has been a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

This person recommended I read this page, Police Use of Force. That page also references the Use of Force Continium. I did so, and both of those pages support my side of the argument.

I quote:

There is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of use of force. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force as the "amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject"
Context counts. No two situations are the same, nor are any two officers. In a potentially threatening situation, an officer will quickly tailor a response and apply force, if necessary. Situational awareness is essential, and officers are trained to judge when a crisis requires the use of force to regain control of a situation. In most cases, time becomes the key variable in determining when an officer chooses to use force.

So, the officer is authorized to compel compliance by an unwilling subject. This obstinate young woman is certainly an unwilling subject.

The page then talks about the amount of force used. I quote:

Law enforcement officers should use only the amount of force necessary to mitigate an incident, make an arrest, or protect themselves or others from harm. The levels, or continuum, of force police use include basic verbal and physical restraint, less-lethal force, and lethal force.

The young woman was arrested for disrupting the class by not obeying the orders of the teacher, administrator or SRO.

Looking at the second page, we see the levels of force:

  • Officer Presence — No force is used. Considered the best way to resolve a situation.
    • The mere presence of a law enforcement officer works to deter crime or diffuse a situation.
    • Officers' attitudes are professional and nonthreatening.
  • Verbalization — Force is not-physical.
    • Officers issue calm, nonthreatening commands, such as "Let me see your identification and registration."
    • Officers may increase their volume and shorten commands in an attempt to gain compliance. Short commands might include "Stop," or "Don't move."
  • Empty-Hand Control — Officers use bodily force to gain control of a situation.
    • Soft technique. Officers use grabs, holds and joint locks to restrain an individual.
    • Hard technique. Officers use punches and kicks to restrain an individual.
  • Less-Lethal Methods — Officers use less-lethal technologies to gain control of a situation.
    (See Deciding When and How to Use Less-Lethal Devices. )
    • Blunt impact. Officers may use a baton or projectile to immobilize a combative person.
    • Chemical. Officers may use chemical sprays or projectiles embedded with chemicals to restrain an individual (e.g., pepper spray).
    • Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs). Officers may use CEDs to immobilize an individual. CEDs discharge a high-voltage, low-amperage jolt of electricity at a distance.
  • Lethal Force — Officers use lethal weapons to gain control of a situation. Should only be used if a suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or another individual.
    • Officers use deadly weapons such as firearms to stop an individual's actions.

Let's go down the list.

Did the "Officer Presence" work? No.

Did the "Verbalization" work? No.

Empty Hand Control, Soft technique. Did this work? Yes.

Empty Hand control, Hard Technique. Was this used? No.

Was Less-Lethal Methods used at all? No.

Was Lethal Force used at all? No.

So, by the video evidence at hand, and use-of-force parameters provided by my sparring partner, the officer acted appropriately and correctly in his proportionate response to an unwilling subject.

I win.

Another filmed police encounter out of context

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In my usual method of doing the logical and thoughtful thing and “waiting until the facts come out” I am ready to comment on the Ben Fields issue.

These are the established facts:

• A female student (a senior) decided to violate school policy by taking her cell phone out and using it in class.
• She was warned repeatedly by the teacher and an administrator to put it away or depart the classroom. The student refused.
• The School Resource Officer (Ben Fields) was called to remove her from the room. She refused to obey his commands.
• A scuffle then resulted between the student and the SRO.

What came out later is the students mother had just died and the student was placed into foster care.

Reading news reports and social media comments about the incident, I see a glaring level of ignorance about what Officer Fields was there to do.

The police do not “serve and protect” the public. That’s all marketing. They “protect” the public indirectly, as an unvaccinated child is “protected” against diseases because the vast majority of children are vaccinated and don’t get those diseases to pass along to the unvaccinated child. The police “protect” the public by putting those who break the law in prison and thus unable to commit more crimes. The job of a police officer is to enforce the law. They do that by investigating alleged violations of the law, arresting those they believe are guilty and bringing them up for trial. Because of this, a police officer should never back down or walk away from a confrontation. If they get into an altercation, the officer has to win 100% of the time. The recent riots in Baltimore is a classic example of the results of such type of capitulation by the police to the mob.

My personal belief is the number of laws should be as few as possible and maximum limitation on the police on how they can operate. When violence is used, the incident must be investigated, however the officer should not be “Tuesday-Morning Quarterbacked” and have their actions and words parsed to the nth degree.

If violence is authorized, it should be proportional to the maximum end of the scale. As a firearms instructor taught me, “If you’re authorized to kill him dead, you’re authorized to kill him dead dead.” In other words, if I have to shoot someone to protect others and I kill him in three shots, another 27 won’t make him any more dead, just more sure he really is dead.

Another personal belief is we are all responsible for our actions. We actively choose our responses to events before us. We all have coping skills to deal with what life throws at us. There are positive coping skills and there are negative coping skills. The authorities get called when people use negative coping skills.

I also do not believe our chronological age should exclusively define if we are an adult. A person who is 17 years and 364 days old is, under large portions of the law a juvenile and the same person the next day is now regarded as an adult. To me, they are the same person because we change, grow and learn over extended periods of time. I firmly believe a person of the students’ age is mature enough to realize the consequences of their actions. If they delude themselves into believing they are exempt from said consequences, that delusion is on them and not on society.

I have sympathy for the young lady for losing her mother. No matter the circumstances of how her mother passed, she deserves to grieve. Being suddenly dumped into foster care is also a traumatizing experience. All that being said, many people lose their parent every day and 99.9% of them do not act out inappropriately. These admittedly traumatizing events do not justify under her acting out and disrupting others.

I have an acquaintance who is an educator and has the unenviable experience of having to deal with difficult students. This acquaintance spoke about possibly using Therapeutic Holds in this situation, which are designed to restrain children with developmental disabilities who lack the skills or ability to regulate their own actions. These holds not only restrain the child and prevent them from harming themselves or others, it provides a human touch which can calm the child and help deescalate the situation.

This almost-adult who was acting out, being disruptive and disobedient brought upon herself the whuppin’ she received. I am not aware if this student has any developmental disabilities. Based on the lack of evidence she has a developmental disability, I will infer she is a fully rational human being with normal powers of reasoning, deduction and decision making. Because she has the ability to reason and decide, she could have peaceably ended the situation at any point. She chose to push it all the way to the end.

The SRO was given the task of removing this petulant almost adult-child from the room, short of causing serious bodily harm or killing her in the process. We all have ideas and suggestions on how “it should have been done” but we weren’t there. Until we have tried to do so, we do not have the authority to declare unequivocally that “this action is what should have been done.” Maybe he wasn’t trained in didn’t know how or had no knowledge about your “perfect move,” maybe he does know about it and was trained in said “perfect move” and decided that it wouldn’t work or he could not apply it in this case.

Maybe, just maybe when physical confrontation is required, you do what you have to do to insure your personal safety while accomplishing the task. Don’t bitch and moan that he put his hand there instead of there during the confrontation. Don’t obsess over how or why the chair the student was in flipped. You can tear the video apart frame by frame in the aftermath and minutely analyze it. Officer Fields did not have that opportunity. At that point of the confrontation it was all fast action and reflexes.

As a conclusion, it is my firm belief that the citizen should have maximum freedom in their actions by making the laws (and thus police encounters) as few as possible. Any time the police become involved, the officer has to operate within strict and clear rules, not guidelines (because there is a difference between rules and guidelines). Once within those rules, the officer should have wide latitude in the proportional level of the force they use in order to accomplish their orders.

Absolute bottom-line: A spoiled brat wanting to appear “tough” decided to act out and got a beat down for her efforts. She could have acted like the adult she soon will be declared and ended the situation before said beat down commenced. The officer was under orders to remove her from the room and I believe acted with restraint in carrying out his orders. I am sure a quick spray of Mace to the face would have made her a lot less combative. Just imagine the outrage from the Twitterverse if he had Maced or Tasered her, or just beat her with a baton.

Goose, meet gander

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I am constantly amazed at the scale of the mental gymnastics and hypocrisy of Liberals.

Classic case in point: The gun control debate.

Liberal organizations like The Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the like do not want to get rid of firearms.

They want to get rid of civilian ownership of firearms. They are all for the military, police and their security details having guns, just not you.

The children of the powerful go to schools that are protected by armed guards, right there and ready to go with advanced weaponry. The children who attend public schools are "protected" by gun-free zones and lightly-armed police who are usually minutes away when seconds count.

You really have to ask yourself, why is what's good for the goose is not good for the gander?

While I cannot speak to their thoughts, I am sure their motivations are quite clear. They are "in charge" and they would like to stay that way.

They realize there are more men armed with scoped rifles who can hit a dinner plate at 200 yards in the woods of Pennsylvania on the first morning of deer hunting season than any army in the world (including ours!). Those "in-charge" people fear these people.

A citizenry that does not have tools for self-defense similar to the weapons possessed by the police and military, lacks the ability to resist any action that the police or military wants to visit upon them. When that happens, the citizenry exists entirely at the whim of the government. You can just ask the over 20,000,000 who were killed by Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge and other Socialist governments during the 20th century who disarmed their citizens. Oh, wait, you can't because they're dead.

These pro-gun control people know the bloodbath and civil war that would ensue if they tried to confiscate all the firearms. So, until they are sure that they can go door-to-door and just take them, they are trying to "convince" you. They don't orchestrate mass shootings, they create the conditions where such mass murders possible, then loudly proclaiming them from the rooftops, while ignoring or stifling incidents that were cut short or prevented by a legally armed-citizen.


This is great.

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I think this article is great. It's a wonderful start and could go very far. The mayor of Albuquerque saw a homeless man with a 'Will work' sign. It gave him a great idea.

This is a program where a van drives around, looking for homeless people. The homeless people who say "yes" (over 70% of them do) get in, and they work for 5 1/2 hours doing beautification work. They get a free lunch and $45 when they are dropped off at a center where they have access to food, shelter and other services.

When a person becomes homeless, they lose many things besides a roof over their head. They lose a safe place to sleep. They lose the ability to have a place to safely store their things. The number of their possessions are literally reduced to what they can carry. They have little or no access to hygiene, or food. No refrigerator, no storing food. No stove, no preparing food, except in the most rudimentary way. For most of them, the only clothes they have are the ones they are wearing. They also lose the ability to receive Postal Mail. With them limited to what they can carry, a SS Card/birth certificate/ID to verify the persons identity is probably non-existent.

So, here is this person who wants to work. How they got there is unimportant. Where they want to be in the future is. They have skills and abilities. However their entire day is spent chasing the chance of a meal and a place to sleep for the night. They don't have the ability to clean themselves and wear clean, neat clothes for a job interview. They can't receive mail to get job offers (no more "General Delivery" at the Post Office) and most likely have no way to reliably access email, even if they have an email address. A steady job, would, by the way end their homelessness pretty quickly.

In a situation like this, you can't "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" because... you have no boots, let alone bootstraps.

I can see how a program like this can be improved. Have local businesses work with this program. If a person works a certain number of shifts, they get an interview with a business "as-is," meaning their cleanliness and condition is not a consideration in the interview. The business pays the deposit and 2-3 months rent for a furnished studio or one-bedroom apartment, having the new worker gradually repay the debt and move forward.

I have known people who have slept on the streets so long, when they get into a place of their own, it sometimes takes 6+ months before they stop sleeping on the floor with all their things in the corner behind them.

If you can, start a program like this in your town. Lift others up. Pay it forward. Do good deeds.

The bond of veterans

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I have said for years, a veteran will give another veteran several steps more benefit of the doubt more than they will a civilian, even on their first meeting.

This TED talk by Sebastian Junger codifies and describes plainly how my statement above is an immutable fact.

There is no other place on this world or in this life than you will know 104% who is with you and who is against you than on the field of battle. Combat veterans have trust issues upon their return from war because most of the people they interact with do not have the same level of commitment to the group. These are men and women who would not hesitate to surrender their lives to save their team. You do not find that level of interpersonal commitment anywhere else other than on the battlefield.

In the words of General George S. Patton, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

To be truthful, I have never answered a real General Quarters alarm. I have never been in combat. I served in a time of relative peace. I am humbled that those who have gone through combat consider me a brother.

Blog updates

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Using a few free minutes here and a few free minutes there, I have managed to get the appearance and layout of this blog more to my liking. It's not 100% the way I want it, but it's good enough. I have some placeholders for articles that are in various stages of production. Again, it depends on what time I can devote to here rather than to, say, survival.

You can enjoy the new features in the three areas directly under the main header. They will take you down various rabbit holes. See just how deep they go.


Why you must vote

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The job of a Citizen is to keep his mouth open. We do that by voting. To refuse to vote is not a protest against the system, it's surrendering.

Our Founding Fathers designed our system to encourage contimplation. The Citizens choose the direction of our government by electing representatives to office. Once set, that direction is hard to change for the next several years. Ideally, before we step into the voting booth, we should spend some time to study the candidates. Both the incumbent and challenger deserve our due dilligence before we choose one over the other.

Don't go with the person who has the best soundbites. Go with the one whose values and ideals best align with yours. If you don't know how to decide, I have a suggestion for you.

An era has ended

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On September 29th, 2015, the USS Simpson (FFG-56) was retired after 30 years of service. Only she and one other active duty US Navy warship could claim the honor of engaging an enemy ship in combat on the high seas and being victorious.

The other ship? The USS Constitution. The same USS Constitution which was built under the Naval Act of 1794 and is one of the original 6 ships of the United States Navy. The Constitution sank a total of five ships in the War of 1812.

The USS Simpson earned her title during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988. The USS Samuel B. Roberts had struck an Iranian mine while protecting civilian shipping in the Gulf of Hormuz. The US Navy was in the process of destroying several oil platforms which were being used to gather intelligence and document ship movements. The Iranian fast attack craft Joshan fired a missile at SAG (Surface Action Group) Charlie, consisting of the USS Wainwright (CG-28), USS Bagley (FF-1069) and USS Simpson (FFG-56). The Iranian missile missed, the four missiles fired by the Simpson did not. The Wainwright also hit with a missile, then all three ships closed and proceeded to sink the Joshan by gunfire.

It seems odd that with all of the Naval history the US Navy has, the only battle-proven ship we have is a wind powered ship capable of a battle speed of 13 knots. On the other hand, it shows that we are unchallenged in recent years because the men and women who sail into harms way every day demonstrate the fact that all who attempt to challenge us will find themselves wanting of their goal.


navy poster