I'm not here -- gone beachin' for a while. See you when I get back.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
During the 2004 election cycle, ballot initiative I-912 was introduced to repeal the 9.5 cent per gallon additional gas tax that had been voted into law by the state legislature. I-912 was a polarizing issue, and drew hot debate. Sadly, many of my fellow
Great news, and a solid statement for free speech! I was listening to Kirby this morning, and he indicated that if this decision had gone against them, he and John were prepared to take it to the US Supreme Court. I'm glad that the justices of my state were able to see the light.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
It takes some real mind-bending skill to come up with some of the viewpoints highlighted in these posts...
Monday, April 23, 2007
What a great centennial honor this would be ... the USS Robert A. Heinlein.
What better way to commemorate Robert Heinlein's birth centennial than naming a major new US Navy ship after him? The ultra-sophisticated DDG destroyers (Zumwalt class) are something straight out of science fiction themselves, and there's never been a better ship to name after an sf writer, futurist and proud Navy man.
As a huge fan of Heinlein's works, I'd love to see this happen. Heinlein's Starship Troopers had a clarifying effect on my viewpoints regarding the military when I read it the first time, and it is the one which I re-read most often.
Phil at Pacific Empire pulls a quote from Starship Troopers that has an uncanny resemblance to our current day situation...
“If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cut its head off? Of course not. You’d paddle it. There can be circumstances when it’s just as foolish to hit an enemy city with an H-bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an axe. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him…but to make him do what you want to do. Not killing…but controlled and purposeful violence.
Emphasis added by me. Good time to remember that Freedom Isn't Free.
Make sure you visit the Castle and read / take part in the comment conversation on this idea. Very Interesting!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Some other interesting and thought-provoking responses to the events at Virginia Tech that have caught my attention:
In my post on Sheep and Sheepdogs yesterday, laid out the concept that there is a continuum between the two modes. I still feel that is true, because many people who otherwise live average non-Sheepdog lives may find themselves in the role of Sheepdog when events intercede, as they did Monday.
I was asked by a gentleman the other day how I felt about the events, and I answered, "I wish I would have been in that dorm five minutes before that demon walked in." "And what is it that you think you could have done young man?", he replied. "I could have made a difference."
While millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief that they were not caught up in the horror, the Sheepdogs were sorry they weren't there to prevent it.
I am, too. Go read the whole thing.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The horrible events at Virginia Tech on Monday left many innocents dead. Students and professors started off their day as they would on any Monday, and fate led a madman into their midst. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and friends.
They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.
The term Sheep is not used here to be offensive, as some may take it. The point is that the bulk of the population goes on about their daily, productive, lives without spending much time thinking about the wolves around us. The consensus of virtually all of the Sheepdogs that I am happy to call friends is that this is a good thing.
As Grossman pointed out in his essay, it's not an on/off state, it's a continuum. The Sheep in the center of the herd don't even see the edges, and may not admit that the Wolves exist. The ones at the next layer may understand the danger but not be able or willing to act. The next layer contains Sheep with greater understanding of the Wolves of the world, and some ability and inclination to protect the Sheep farther in. And so on, until you reach the pure Sheepdogs - Police, Firemen, and the Military. Men and women who daily put their lives on the line to secure the peace and security.
As you progress outward, the Sheep characteristics are mixed at varying levels with the Sheepdog attributes, and I would like to think that each of us has the potential to become the Sheepdog in a situation where there are Wolves threatening to do harm. This happened at Virginia Tech, as evidenced by the actions of Professor Lebrescu, and others like Zach Petkewicz.
"I was completely scared out of my mind originally, just went into a cowering position, and then just realized you have got to do something." [emphasis added]
Sometimes one just has to Act, to become a Sheepdog and not simply submit to the Wolves. I pray that if the need were to arise, I too would summon the Sheepdog inside and take action.
Final note on this. While we remember those murdered on Monday, and decry the acts of a madman killing our 'children', a little perspective. We have thousands of troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan who are younger than many of those killed, who go outside the wire and into harm's way every single day. However you feel about the Global War on Terror, the Sheepdogs are out there doing their jobs every day. Many of them aren't old enough yet to drink. Some never will be.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Bill Whittle has posted up essay #2 on conspiracy theories and critical thinking.
Intellectually honest people, people without a deep, vested emotional need to believe the worst, are usually relieved to hear the facts that demolish superstitions like the Bermuda Triangle and the Loch Ness Monster. While there may be disappointment at the loss of an unseen world, people who have chosen to live in reality find comfort in the fact that reality is, in fact, made up of the real and not the wished for.
Get a cuppa joe, and go read.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The Ft. Lewis military community, among many, will be impacted by the deployment extensions announced by Secretary Gates recently.
10,000 from Fort Lewis have missions extended
I have adopted a squad from the 864th through AnySoldier.com, along with my friends Val and Rob. Supporting them for another three months is a no-brainer for us. But my heart goes out to the soldiers, who just arrived in Afghanistan in mid-February, and especially to their families.
The soldiers will do their duty, because that's what soldiers do. And the families will cope, because that's what military families do. And they are proud to do it, just ask 'em. While you're asking, though, don't say anything dumb like "How do you live that way?". Trust me on this.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I can't believe I missed the April 1 cartoon at Cox & Forkum. I'm not pasting it here - you need to go see it in action!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
How's your perspective these days?
This is what I see and hear.
There's more ... go read the whole poem.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Chuck can spin out more ideas in a 20-minute rant than any other 10 people I know! He brainstorms on some ways to reform the system to ensure the availability of quality Healthcare for military and veterans and their families.
A fifty-cent surcharge to all dating-service phone calls, and a $1 surcharge to all American Idol type voter call in shows.
That's just a tiny sample ... go read the whole list!
How many can You check off?
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The father of a fallen Marine asks for our help.
My name is John Ellsworth and I am the father of LCPL Justin M. Ellsworth U.S.M.C. who was killed in the fight for Fallujah on 13 NOV 2004.
I've already signed -- hope you'll join me. Thanks!!
H/T to Operation Support Our Troops.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Instead of reading serious stuff, I got sucked in to BowMaster Prelude, and am happy to report that I was victorious in defending the Castle. All good Denizens should take up arms against the invaders!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Top Enlisted Soldier at Walter Reed Gets Back to Basics of Soldier Care
Monday, April 02, 2007
We missed the boat again, says JMH [ed: corrected my original dyslexic entry!]. We being the mighty Circle-M, as I like to call my place of employment. I actually should have posted this yesterday, so I guess I'm the one who missed the boat...
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Thank you to all who commented or made suggestions about the new blog layout. Apparently I need more color, or maybe just different ones. And more hardware, like tanks. This will definitely be taken under consideration.