Sunday, November 29, 2009

Officers Down............

I just found out that 4 Police Officers were killed in a coffee shop in Parkland, Washington this morning.

I lost 3 brothers and a sister, while the thin blue line became a little thinner.

May the good Lord take the fallen and their families into his loving care.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

As God Is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly...........

A fellow blogger (And a prince of a fellow), Jay over at MArooned reminded me of one of my absolute favorite TV programs from the past, WKRP in Cincinnati. I thought it was the funnest program on the air at the time and it's held up well over the years. One of the highlights of the program was their Thanksgiving episode which I thought that you old timers who remembered it would enjoy as well as those who have never heard of it. It's nice to see a truly funny TV program again.

I had to hunt a bit, but I found a link to the program (as long as it last) I hope it places the holiday in context for you all..........-grin-


Happy Bithday................

A VERY Happy Birthday to Nutbush, TN's own Anne Mae Bullock, also known as Miss Tina Turner. A woman who has been through what she has, at her age and STILL looks as fine as a frog's hair split 12 ways you just GOTTA admire. -grin-

Thanksgining 2009.........

My last posts were a little heavy, so let me lighten things up a bit.

Ah Thanksgiving, or as one of my kinfolk calls it, the season of the casserole.

Having feasted on the required odds and ends from the groaning table to include several of the dreaded casseroles as well as turkey and ham, I thought I would take keyboard in hand and type some thoughts about Thanksgiving. As I sit here, a hot mug of tea (Earl Grey) at my side and my favorite cat Maggie (Named after Margaret Thatcher) sharing my lap with the keyboard, I started counting my blessings and figured out that I have one heck of a lot to be thankful about. If you will, please allow me to share them with you my readers.

My health. I came damned close to taking a permanent dirt bath in June, and am quite happy to still be here. Am I at 100 percent yet? Nope. As a matter of fact, I need to go back in for more surgery in January. But ya know, it could be a heck of a lot worse. I am getting stronger each day and know that I will be my old self sooner, rather than later. I just gotta hang in there and with the help of the Almighty, I will be back.

My wife. It just seems that the old adage applies here, you never really appreciate what you have until it's gone. Thank goodness, I didn't lose her, but she came close to losing me. My wife, whom I call the Memsahib was a absolute rock while I was in the hospital. She has always been there for me, supporting everything I every wanted to do. I like to think I have been as supportive to her and everything that she has wanted to do, but I sometimes wonder. I do know that I have taken her for granted every once in a while and regret it a great deal. You can be sure that I will be on my guard against that in the future.

My friends and family. I lump all these folks together because I can't quite tell them apart. I have been lucky in having some of the finest folks on earth as my friends and I quickly adopt them as kinfolk. My blood family came out of the woodwork to support my good wife and myself when I was sick, and still support me today.

Blogger Folks. ALL you folks out in blogger land, fellow writers and readers. Thank you for allowing me to come into the fold. I hesitated to start blogging, because I thought at the time that blogging was nothing more that a chance for someone to stroke their own egos, sorta like "Hey look at me I am SO important that I need to tell you all about me" I discovered that out there in blog land that there IS a bit of that kind of thing, but mostly it's just folks who feel strongly enough about various topics to post about them and let the chips fall where they may. My kind o' folks. -grin- I think that in the time I have been writing, I have made friends with a few fellow bloggers, vented my spleen once or twice, pissed off a few readers and made some folks laugh. I have also had a lot of fun. So thank you ALL for that.

So all in all, I have a great deal to be thankful about in the past and even more in the future to continue to be grateful about. I have had one heck of a run and am looking forward keeping on keeping on. To steal a line from a song, "My future's so bright I need to wear shades" -grin-

The First Thanksgiving..................

The first "official" Thanksgiving proclamation came from George Washington, but the one that started the celibration that we are familiar with began with this proclamation from Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Now here is a President who had less reason to be thankful than most. The country was split by a Civil War, casualties were mounting and he didn't know if the war could be won. He however pushed that all to the side and offered up thanks for the blessings that had been and continue to be given to the country.

Carefully read Lincoln's proclamation and imagine if you will the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. being able to write, speak or even think words such as these. I don't think it's possible and I've got a very active imagination.

Mumbai, One Year Later..........

I know that today is Thanksgiving and that since it is a time of being thankful and being with families that this post will be a bit out of place, but so be it.

It was a year ago today, that 10 well dressed young men carrying explosives, Chinese type 86 hand grenades and AK-47 rifles, like wolves attacking a flock of sheep, attacked the city of Mumbai, India. Their mission was simple, to kill as many people as possible before they in turn were killed. These young men were Muslim, gathered up from small villages in Pakistan, trained and sent out to kill in the name of Allah. These young men racked up a horrifying body count, they killed 173 and wounded 308.

The reason for this post is that I just watched a HBO special I had recorded earlier. The special, "Terror in Mumbai" is only a hour long, but stunning in what it shows and details. What makes this so stunning was that Indian Intelligence was able to record and monitor cell phone calls from the terrorist and their controllers in Pakistan. These recordings were used in the documentary. One of the most chilling was when the controllers ordered one of the terrorist to shoot some hostages before the security forces could retake them. You can hear the shots as the terrorist shoots the hostages in the back of the head.

Other scenes in this documentary that will get your attention are how poorly the Indian Security services dealt with this situation. Police officers armed with high powered, bolt action rifles (WWII Enfields) threw them down and ran away. Some few who attempted to engage were limited to the 5 rounds they had in their weapons and sometimes their rifles didn't work, causing one police officer on a surveillance video they show to throw a plastic chair at one of the bad guys.

It was also interesting seeing the reaction of the terrorist to their surroundings. They were amazed at the opulence and richness of the hotels they attacked. I think that this allowed them to kill easier. You take a young man out of some mud hut village or other hell hole in Pakistan and tell him to kill all these rich, pig eating infidels and in return, you will get your reward in paradise. You can understand how easy it is to program such people. These kids had nothing and all these infidels have all this stuff that they don't and never will have. The infidels don't deserve it, while you, as a good Muslim do. Make them pay for their effrontery and defend your religion at the same time. Taking a kid with a mindset like that and molding him into a weapon is easy.

This was a kind of attack that all countries are VERY vulnerable to. They are low tech, and as long as you have someone who is willing to die to carry it out, almost unstoppable. Look at Ft. Hood as an example. I think that we will see many more of these kinds of attack in the future. We as a country should be prepared for it. Just think if these terrorist had come to America and attacked a mall on "Black Friday"

If you can, get your hands on a copy of the HBO special "Terror in Mumbai" It will open your eyes and show you the true face of the sworn enemy of the western world.


I have a link here to allow you to see the documentary (as long as it last)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends...........

Well, I might as well share the crappy news I got last week with all my loyal readers. As you most likely are aware, I have been having problems since I underwent surgery this past June. A surgical procedure that was only suppose to keep me in the hospital 3 to 4 days, kept me in for 78 days. I had peritonitis twice and pancretitis three times and came close to taking a long dirt bath at least twice. (That I know of, I am still pretty foggy about what all went on) At that point, it dawned on me the reason that they call it medical practice, not medical sure thing.

So last Thursday I went back to my surgeon and he told me that they were going to put me back in and do some more surgery to try to fix what they screwed up as well as take out my gall bladder, since it got fried in my hospitalization. Sorta one stop shopping. The wanted to get me in right away, but I told them that they had cost me the summer, they were not going to cost me the holidays. So January is when the fun starts.

I can hardly wait..........

Road Trip Weekend............

This past weekend I took the first tentative steps to getting back out on the reenacting trail with my messmates from the Carolina Living History Guild. I still don't have all my kit together but figured that I would go down to "visit a spell" The group was doing their Civil War Federal Navy impression at the C.S.S. Neuse State Historic Site. It was good to see the fellows, I sat in the back round and watch while they talked to the public interpreting period firearms, torpedoes, artillery as well as the common seaman's life. Visitation was lighter (At least on Saturday) than expected since there were a couple of big college football games in the area. The folks that did come out were very interested in what the guys were doing so it made it all worth while.

I hope you noticed earlier that I mentioned torpedoes. For you folks not history cranks, the term torpedo in the 1860's doesn't mean the "Tin Fish" of Run Silent, Run Deep fame, but rather describe what we would call mines today. My buddy Chris of the Guild is a expert in such "infernal machines" and has quite a few reproductions of these weapons. It is surprising to the public that there was that kind of technology available in the 1860. There was both impact detonated and electrically command detonated torpedoes, which became famous with Admiral David Farragut's command of "Damn the Torpedoes, Full speed ahead!" at Mobile Bay. (Luckily, most of the torpedoes in Mobile Bay had been in the water a while so the main charges were waterlogged and failed to explode. It is said that the union sailors in Farragut's ships could hear the "pops" as the detonators went off when their ships struck the mines)

Chris also talks about tools of sabotage to include various time bombs and a hollow piece of cast iron that when painted looks like a piece of coal. The faux coal could be filled with gun powder and tossed in a coal pile used to refuel the boiler of a navy ship. When fed into a ship's firebox, the faux coal would heat up and explode, causing the ship's boiler to then explode. There is some suspicion that the steamboat Sultana fell victim to something of this nature. Up to 1800 died in that sinking, that was the worst nautical disaster in American history. Chris also tells about a box of candles that almost killed a General. This was a time bomb that was placed on a ammunition barge at the Federal Supply Depot at City Point VA. On August 9th, 1864 the bomb detonated, setting off the ammunition on the barge. The subsequent explosions killed 43 people and wounded 126. The yard of the house that the Union Commander, U.S. Grant was using as his headquarters was filled, in his own words, "Every part of the yard used as my headquarters is filled with splinters and fragments of shell" and a staff officer said "Such a rain of shot, shell, bullets, pieces of wood, iron bars and bolts, chains and missiles of every kind was never before witnessed." Just think of how history MIGHT have changed had Grant been killed in the explosion.

Chris does a remarkably good job of sharing this information with the public and does it out of his overwhelming love of the history of our country.

As I said, I couldn't pick a better bunch of folks to spend time with, such as Andrew and John my other messmates and would have loved to spend the weekend with them. However the spirit was willing, but the flesh is still pretty weak. So as the sun slowly sank in the west, I headed on home. It was well worth the trip and I was somewhat rejuvenated for the coming season. Now to just get my body healthy enough for it.

Told Ya So.............

A few weeks back or so, I made a prediction about the Ft. Hood trial. Well it looks like my prediction is coming true. And I didn't even need my magic 8-ball to help me make it.

With the Light Bringer and Eric "Greasy Thumb" Holder telling everyone and his brother that the 9/11 and Ft. Hood defendants are guilty, they are going to get solid convictions on everyone that they are going to bring to trial, they have almost guaranteed that there will be countless appeals of ANY convictions that are won against the scum that did these horrific acts. You could make a case that they might not even be able to have a trial since the comments the Ritz brothers made could make it impossible to find a fair and impartial jury to hear the case. I could just see the lawyers for the defendants looking up in the sky screaming "Thank you God!" just like a bunch of dust bowl farmers getting pelted by the first rain they have seen in years.

Now many will say that they were just trying to make the public feel better by assuring them that we would punish the bad guys no matter what. I think that is nothing more than a pile of horse crap. Both these "gentlemen" went to the finest law schools in the country. They should have known better. I mean, I am FAR from being the sharpest knife in the drawer and "I" knew they couldn't say something like that. ( I got MY law degree in the school of hard knocks as well as watching old Perry Mason and Matlock reruns when I couldn't sleep at night) So if they graduated from these fine law schools and passed the bar, I have to wonder. Have they suddenly become dumb as a bag o' hammers or was this a deliberate and calculated move on the part of the Light Bringer and his mob? I honestly don't know but I have my suspicions for what they are worth.............

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Trip To The Twilight Zone.............

I had a very good time this weekend, which I will detail when I have a little more time, but I thought I would share this nugget with you.

As I told you, I have always hesitated reenacting the American Civil War due to the fact that there are a bunch of yahoos out there that think the war is STILL going on. Mostly these folks are on the Confederate side and to put it bluntly, they live up to the stereotype of the ignorant redneck. I can't figure out why they are out there other than to wear the uniform that more than likely would have never been able to wear in real life, or perhaps to live out some fantasy rather than to deal with their day to day reality.

I met one of those kinds of fellows this weekend, and one of my friends told me a interesting story about him. It seems that he had been popped for D.W.I. and had lost his driver's license. After applying for a provisional license, the court allowed him to have one to drive to and from work AS WELL as to reenactments. He also had to place a alcosenser in his vehicle which will not allow him to start his vehicle if he has alcohol on his breath.

His nickname is, (Wait for it) Captain Blow and Go................

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.............

Monday, November 16, 2009

Edward Woodward, R. I. P.

I found out today that English actor Edward Woodward passed away.

Mr. Woodward wasn't a "A" list actor, no major blockbusters to his credit, but he was quietly competent at what he did. The role that stood out for me and brought him to my attention was in the movie Breaker Morant. This movie, (one of my favorites, B.T.W.) is set in the Boer War. The plot of the movie deals with the courts martial of three Australian officers who while serving under British Army command were accused of executing Boer Prisoners of War. Woodward brings a sense of world weariness to his portrayal of Morant, but intersperses it with a charm that keeps the portrayal from being maudlin. Woodward's courtroom scenes in particular are well done.

Rest in Peace Mr. Woodward, and thank you for the entertainment that you gave us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Slick Move From The Light Bringer?...........

I saw that the sub-human of Ft. Hood will be charged and tried under the U.C.M.J. (Uniform Code of Military Justice) for 13 counts of pre-meditated murder.

In the bigger scheme of things I don't have a problem with it. But my ingrained cynicism kicked in when I remembered who has the final say as to whether or not the convicted is executed. Yep, you guessed it, the commander-in-chief has the final call.

Add to that, since he does have that responsibility, he can't make ANY comments about the case, nor about Islamic terrorism because it might damage the Ft. Hood shooter's chance at getting a fair and impartial trial or even give the shooter a reason for appeal.

Now I ain't saying that this is a fact, I don't have a smoking gun to prove it. But based on the Light Bringer's more than obvious reluctance to speak in a positive light about anything relating to our war on terror and knowing how "The Chicago Mob" plays the game, I just gotta wonder if the White House has their sticky little fingers all over this case.........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Odds and Ends..............

Last night, the Commonwealth of Virginia put John Allen Muhammad to death for his part in the D.C. beltway sniper attacks. It would be simple enough to say good riddance to bad trash, but I couldn't help but think of the execution last night. I do have some questions in my mind about the death penalty. (the libertarian in me, no doubt) I have concerns that any group of people who can't run anything right (post office, V.A. and so on) have the power of life and death over convicted criminals. I have no doubts in my mind that some innocent people have been convicted and put to death for crimes they did not commit.

But I do also believe that the death penalty is justified and the right punishment for murder and other heinous crimes as long as there is no doubt whatsoever as to the guilt of the accused. There are some people who are so evil that they should not EVER be a part of humanity again. The problem with life imprisonment is that sometime it isn't for life. Here in N.C. we have about 20 people who are just about to get out of prison after receiving life sentences because they have received "good time" for behaving in prison.

I also think that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to criminals. I can guarantee you that John Allen Muhammad is about as deterred as he can get.

I just got back from attending a firearms instructor's conference at the North Carolina Justice Academy at Salemburg, I had a pretty good time, spent most of it attending armorer's classes. We worked on the Springfield Armory XD and it's 1911 clones and I am now a "certified armorer" whatever that means. Springfield puts out some fine weapons and if you are looking for a handgun, you could do a lot worse. However, they did do something that just "yanked my chain" Now most of you have no doubt figured out that I am old school to the max. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So imagine my disgust when they handed me a 1911 and the first thing I saw was a safety lock inserted in the main spring housing. Yep, someone took the masterpiece of 'ol J.M. Browning and put a safety lock on it. You need a key to make it go "bang" Now you don't have to use the safety lock, but the very idea that someone felt the need to add one to one of the finest weapon`systems around just blows my mind. I guess it's a liability sop for the lawyers. (Damn 'em)

I also attended a seminar on Combat Mindset. It was a eye opening talk. The instructor challenged us to do a better job of preparing our trainees for combat, to train them to win, which we haven't been doing. Some of our terminology we use in training adds to this mindset such as the term, "To survive a gunfight" As the instruction said "Hell, you can be sitting in a wheelchair and eating your food through a straw and have survived, teach your people to WIN" We also talked about turning the "Me" generation into cops and the difficulties involved in doing that. The kids coming up into police work don't look at it as a avocation, but only a job. Most have NEVER even been in a school yard fight, so they do not have ANY concept of what it's like in the real world. So they don't react when they should and as a result get themselves or someone else killed. About 50 percent of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty never had the chance or took the opportunity to defend themselves. Unfortunately this trend may contiue or even get worse. I hope with all my heart not, but it doesn't look good.

November 10th 1918............

The war to end all wars ended at 11:00 A.M. on 11-11-18.

The guns fell silent worldwide in what until that time was the greatest bloodletting that ever been endured by mankind. The great nations of Europe were almost bled white by the losses of men and treasure. Great Britain, Germany, France and Russia lost almost an entire generation in the mud of the trenches. America came out fairly lightly, since we only entered the war in 1917, but our losses were significant if it was one of your loved ones who fell. America suffered 116,516 K.I.A.s and 204,002 W.I.A.

Armistice Day as it was called was changed by the Federal Government in 1954 to Veteran's Day to honor the service of all of America's Veterans. I think it is fitting and proper that this was done, since we already commemorate Memorial Day on which we honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their country. Even though we do it on a day that commemorates the end of a war, in a way, it's a celebration of those who made it and survived. So go out of your way to thank a vet today. They earned it.

An in memory of those warriors who died in the period 1914-1918 I enclose the following epithet written on the tombstone of a British Soldier in Normandy,

"The King called, he answered. The King of Kings called, he answered."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines................

My admiration for the entire U.S. Military knows no bounds, but I must admit that I have a special affection for the naval service, to include the Marine Corps. The U.S. Marines have a proud and storied history that dates back to November 10th 1775. I can't speak as well as others about the Corps so I will let others both Marine and Non-Marine speak in my place.

"A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors."
- Field Marshal Montgomery

"Teufelhunden! (Devil Dogs)" -GERMAN SOLDIER'S nickname for the Marines they fought at BELLEAU WOOD in World War I

"The American Marines are terribly reckless fellows...they would make very good storm troopers."
- Unidentified captured German officer at Belleau Wood

"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" -GySgt. DANIEL DALY, USMC winner of two Congressional Medals of Honor (One of the Marines facing the above Germans)

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
- 1stLt Clifton B. Cates, USMC, 96th Co., Another Marine the above Germans were facing at Belleau Wood.

"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshiping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOB's I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and , generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."

- An Anonymous Canadian Citizen

Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC
in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are.
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.

"Semper Fidelis"

General Louis H. Wilson
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Camp Lejueune, N.C. 1978

I would like to close this post with a transcription of a letter written in 1800 by the Second Commandant of the Marine Corps W.W. Burrows to a young Marine Lt. who had been insulted by a naval officer.

Camp at Washing., Sept. 22, 1800

Lt. Henry Caldwell


When I answer'd your letter, I did not Know what Injuries you had recieved on board the Trumbull....Yesterday the Secretary told me, that he understood one of the Lieutenants of the Navy had struck you. I lament that the Capt. of yr ship cannot Keep Order of her.......As to yourself I can only say, that a Blow ought never be forgiven, and without you wipe this Insult offer'd to the Marine Corps, you cannot expect to join our Officers.

I have permitted you to leave the ship.........That you may be on a equal Footing with the Captain, or any one who dare insult you or the Corps. I have wrote to Capt. Carmick, who is at Boston to call on you & be your friend. He is a Man of Spirit and will take care of you, but don't let me see you 'till you have wip'd away this Disgrace. It is my Duty to support my Officers and I will do it with my Life, but they must deserve it.

On board the Ganges, about 12 months ago, Lt. Gale was struck by an Officer of the Navy, the Capt. took no notice of the Business and Gale got no satisfaction on the Cruise; The moment he arrived he call'd the Lieut. out, and shot him; afterwards Politeness was restor'd.....

Yr obdt Svt,

W. W. Burrows

Lt. Col. Comdt, MC

Saturday, November 7, 2009

U.S.S. New York..............

The U.S.S. New York (LPD-21) was commissioned today. May the blessings and protection of God be with the men and women who sail on her and may the crew and ship always enjoy fair seas and following winds.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ft. Hood

I don't think I can add anything worthwhile to what has already been said about this tragedy. I.M.H.O. I think that there should be one heck of a lot less speculation about the case until all the facts are in but I will make two observations.

First, were the powers that be asleep at the wheel? With all the statements he made, all his well documented actions, the shooter should have been under close surveillance at a bare minimum. Or was the military so scared of allegations racial profiling or giving the perception of being unfair that they ignored a bunch of red flags? Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 and it's real easy to second guess the folks on the scene, but damn, something went horribly wrong and we need to do some serious damage control here.

Second, I just can't get my head around what this treasonous dog did. I am not talking about his violating his oath before God, nor his oath to his country. Even worse, he violated a compact with his fellow soldiers. As a officer it was his duty to take care of the soldiers under his command, in return his soldiers take care of him. This has always been a understanding between soldiers since time immortal. To coldly murder your fellow soldiers because of religious or political beliefs is beyond the pale in my mind.

This sorry excuse for a human being should receive a exceedingly fair trial and the absolute finest legal representation available. Cost should be no object. Then when he is convicted, he should be sentenced to death. Once the sentence is carried out, his body should be wrapped in a pig skin, covered in quick lime and buried in a unmarked grave. Then all record of his name and history should be expunged never to be remembered again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Today in History...............

In 1605...................

A early morning search of the cellars of the English Parliament building led to the discovery of 36 barrels of gunpowder and a man with slow match, and fuses. The man identified as Guido (Guy) Fawkes freely admitted that it was his intention to set off the fuse so that the powder when it exploded would destroy the House of Lords, all it's members, as well as King James the 1st who would be present. Fawkes was the "triggerman" of a plot by a group of Catholics who decided that the restrictions placed on their faith by the Parliament was too much to bear so they plotted the assassinations. Fawkes co-conspirators were quickly rounded up and "put to the question" (A term for torture) The net that the English government tossed out brought in quite a few priest, catholic laymen and others that might have been trouble to the King. Unfortunately there were innocent as well as guilty taken in. It did however crush for the time any attempts to restore the Catholic faith as the primary religion in England.

Today in England they still commemorate this event by searching the cellars of Parliament before it's opening as well as with the burning of the Guy. Children make life size dummies, place them on street corners and beg pennies from passers-by to buy fireworks. When darkness fell, the dummies were paraded in the neighborhoods then burned in bonfires to the accompaniment of fireworks, songs and chants. Up until recently, there was a VERY strong Anti-Catholic bias to the celebration which has been somewhat toned downed. I will close this post with a poem that was chanted during the burning of the Guy.

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason, and plot!
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Threescore barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow.

By God's mercy, he was catch'd,
With dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa, boys, holloa, boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa, boys, holloa, boys, God save the King!
Hip, hip, huzzah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah! Hip hip hoorah hoorah!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today in History.................

In 1862..............

North Carolina's own, Richard Gatling received a patent for the multiple barreled repeating firearm which bears his name. The basic design of the Gatling lives on in the main weapon of the A-10 aircraft as well as the various chain guns floating around out there.

In 1922...............

British archeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the Egyptian boy King Tutankhamen. The tomb which had been missed by looters, unlike most tombs was for the most part undisturbed. When Carter peered into the tomb through a small hole he had punched through the door, he was asked what he saw. He could only reply "Wonderful Things!!!" The artifacts that he recovered still delight and amaze the public to this day.

And for you old timers out there, the discovery also helped with the popularity of a young comedian named Steve Martin.....

In 1956...............

Overwhelming numbers of Russian armored vehicles and troops rolled into Hungary to begin crushing the anti-communist uprising that had began on October 23. Fighting continued until November 10 at which time resistance stopped. Over 200,000 Hungarians became refugees before the Soviets sealed the borders leaving their homes, friends and families to live in freedom.

In 1979................

The American Embassy in Tehran, Iran was take over by radical students who were by most accounts, controlled and directed by the Islamic government of Iran. 52 of the staff and diplomats that worked in the embassy were taken hostage and held for 444 days. The Iranians released the hostages almost to the minute that Ronald Reagan assumed the office of President of the United States.