Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy THIS...................

I was mulling over odds and ends while packing for a Civil War event this weekend and my mind sorta drifted over to the Occupy folks. I was thinking that it might not be a bad idea to sorta multitask when they have to clear the areas so that they can be cleaned. Why not use 11/2 inch fire hoses to do both? Just be sure to use lots of soap powder. We know that fire hoses will move people, if you don't believe it, check out the films taken in Birmingham Al. in the early 1960's.

I know, it's MEAN of me to suggest such a thing, but it wouldn't be as if the powers that be, would sneak in there at 3AM. Give 'em fair warning, then flush them right down the sidewalk. No more police injuries and no more protester injuries unless they don't listen to the authorities.

Win for everybody.

Friday, November 11, 2011

On The Eleveth Day, Of The Eleventh Month.............

Today is Veteran's Day.

There were a great deal of things I could have written about today. The historic significance of the day, the debt we owe to those who have served, the cost of protecting the freedoms that we, most of the time, take for granted. Then, I found this, a final blog entry for a serviceman who paid the ultimate price for freedom. I think that this puts things in perspective much better than ANYTHING that I could write.

January 04, 2008
Final Post

“I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here.”

This is an entry I would have preferred not to have published, but there are limits to what we can control in life, and apparently I have passed one of those limits…As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose. Perhaps I take that further than most, I don’t know. I hope so. It’s frightening to think there are many people as neurotic as I am in the world. In any case, since I won’t get another chance to say what I think, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Such as it is.

What I don’t want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss…Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I’ve enjoyed in my life. So if you’re up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can’t laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I’m dead, but if you’re reading this, you’re not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.

I suppose I should speak to the circumstances of my death. It would be nice to believe that I died leading men in battle, preferably saving their lives at the cost of my own. More likely I was caught by a marksman or an IED. But if there is an afterlife, I’m telling anyone who asks that I went down surrounded by hundreds of insurgents defending a village composed solely of innocent women and children. It’ll be our little secret, ok?

If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don’t cite my name as an example of someone’s life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I’m not around to expound on them I’d prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn’t support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I’d prefer that you did so.

On a similar note, while you’re free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. We’re all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.

I wish I could say I’d at least started to get it right. Although, in my defense, I think I batted a solid .250 or so. Not a superstar, but at least able to play in the big leagues. I’m afraid I can’t really offer any deep secrets or wisdom. I lived my life better than some, worse than others, and I like to think that the world was a little better off for my having been here. Not very much, but then, few of us are destined to make more than a tiny dent in history’s Green Monster. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I would have liked to have done more, but it’s a bit too late for that now, eh? The bottom line, for me, is that I think I can look back at my life and at least see a few areas where I may have made a tiny difference, and massive ego aside, that’s probably not too bad.

Regardless of the merits of this war, or of any war, I think that many of us in America have forgotten that war means death and suffering in wholesale lots. A decision that for most of us in America was academic, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, had very real consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet I was as guilty as anyone of minimizing those very real consequences in lieu of a cold discussion of theoretical merits of war and peace. Now I’m facing some very real consequences of that decision; who says life doesn’t have a sense of humor?

This is the hardest part. While I certainly have no desire to die, at this point I no longer have any worries. That is not true of the woman who made my life something to enjoy rather than something merely to survive. She put up with all of my faults, and they are myriad, she endured separations again and again…I cannot imagine being more fortunate in love than I have been with Amanda. Now she has to go on without me, and while a cynic might observe she’s better off, I know that this is a terrible burden I have placed on her, and I would give almost anything if she would not have to bear it. It seems that is not an option. I cannot imagine anything more painful than that, and if there is an afterlife, this is a pain I’ll bear forever.

I wasn’t the greatest husband. I could have done so much more, a realization that, as it so often does, comes too late to matter. But I cherished every day I was married to Amanda. When everything else in my life seemed dark, she was always there to light the darkness. It is difficult to imagine my life being worth living without her having been in it. I hope and pray that she goes on without me and enjoys her life as much as she deserves. I can think of no one more deserving of happiness than her

Major Andrew Olmsted

Military Transition Team
1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
K.I.A. 01-03-2008
As Sadiyah, Iraq

As I said, the words of this man put it all in perspective. May God protect and keep our warriors and their families both past and present.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reality Check..............

O.K. let me see if I got this straight. (If I am wrong in any of these points, please get me squared away)

We have a highly placed coaching assistant at Penn State who has been molesting children since at least 2002. Joe Paterno the head coach knew about it in 2002 and told the administration of the school but didn't tell child protective services or law enforcement. So other than banning this assistant from bringing children with him onto campus nothing was done until 2011. When all this is revealed, the administration shows Paterno the door. The very night Paterno is fired, a number of students of Penn State to show their objection to Paterno's dismissal by taking to the streets, tearing up a bunch of stuff and requiring the local police to use pepper spay to control them. The next morning, I catch the news which interviews a Penn State student who just can't understand why Paterno was fired. Some of her quotes were:

"The coach has done so much for the school I don't see why they couldn't let him stay for the last home game" and " We have people who are going to be selling blue t-shirt to wear to say that we at Penn State stand against child abuse" When questioned further the student said that "even if he couldn't coach the team, he should be allowed to be on the sidelines"

After picking up my jaw from the floor, a further news report made me shake my head even more. It seems that the Occupy Wall Street folks sent the Occupy Berkeley folks a sum of "seed money" to help with their protest. Of course, the Occupy Berkeley people didn't want the money to "vanish", so they stopped by the local Wells Fargo bank and opened up a account. The same Wells Fargo that they have been trashing it's A.T.M.s and cursing it's employees.

Ya know, if I had a dog that was half as sick as this country, I would have already put it out of it's misery.


The money was sent to Occupy OAKLAND not Berkeley. My deepest apologies for my error to all parties involved.

Happy Birthday Leathernecks...............

To all current and prior service members (Since there is NO such thing as a Ex-Marine)of The United States Marine Corps, A very Happy Birthday to you all. I hope that the next 236 years are as glorious and successful as the preceding ones have been.

Just as long as you still get spun up when I refer to you folks as Naval Infantry. (Grin)

Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!

Still Here..................

Still here folks, just been doing various things and been too (busy or sorry, take your pick) to write it up. Either guilt or the writing muse has kicked me so I will be a little more productive in the writing area.

I hope............