Brothers

Brothers
E Plurubus Unum, Rex Montis

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for this year. Thankful for my family. Thankful for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Thankful that I am home with my family this year. Thankful for all the men and women that have missed holidays with loved ones. Thankful all those that have sacrificed some and for those that have sacrificed all.

I am thankful every time I turn on a faucet and water comes out. I am thankful that my younger brother is back from Iraq and was able to spend Thanksgiving with the family. I'm thankful for my wife and my two healthy boys.

I thank all that frequent my blog. I thank all the people that posted today. I thank all my brothers who were with me in the box.

"If you can read this, thank a teacher, if you can read it in English, thank a vet." I've heard that quote before, and it always rings true. There are many who would think otherwise, but that is the nice result of all the sacrifice and struggle, the ability for some to be sheep and live a life of ignorance and bliss.
I know that this is only a few, and most that frequent my blog know truth. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that we still live in a country that is free, and we should be thankful for that every day...who knows when freedom will be jerked from our hands, or slowly pulled away?

Thanks to all of you, and God bless America.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sad day

It was with a heavy heart that I read about the new president this morning. The knowledge that many investigating agencies turned a blind eye to incidents that would have crashed any other presidents, gives me faint hope that perhaps this could still turn around.

Allegations that Obama is in league with Gaza and accepting terrorist money has gone un-investigated, as well as the concerns of citizens that Obama is not even a natural born citizen.
Philip Berg attempted a lawsuit demanding Obama show an original birth certificate from Hawaii that, thus far, he has failed to show. Obama's own Kenyan grandmother claims she was at the hospital in Kenya where he [Obama] was born. What is the reply by a liberal judge who decided the case?

"Plaintiff would have us derail the democratic process by invalidating a candidate for whom millions of people voted."

Sounds like he's saying, "Lets not let facts get in the way of what we want, we can't introduce anything that would disbar Obama from becoming president!"

For now, I'm still "clinging to my outdated values of religion, family and guns." Never mind that those values are what this country was founded on. Here's praying this fiasco can still be overturned...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Heavy Trauma

There was an explosion the likes of which I hadn’t heard before; I ran in the direction of the distant rumble. One of my greatest fears would soon be realized.
He was lying on his back screaming, and as I saw the dark stain blossom and grow on his pant leg, I gave an involuntary shudder. I knew I had to do something fast, but I was frozen. Nothing like this had happened to me before.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, my training kicked in and I ran to his side. I ripped open the pant leg at the in-seam to determine the extent of the damage; it was worse than I feared. The scene was nauseating and I fought down a mixture of panic and revulsion. I took a breath and tore open my trauma bag. Moving swiftly I wiped sweat from my forehead and watched my fingers move of their own accord. Soon my subject was stabilized and I let out a sigh of relief as his breathing returned to normal. First time overflows are definitely traumatizing; the poopy dipper was changed.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Presidents

You gotta love the media; always "neutral and unbiased" what a joke. The cocoon the media has spun around Barrack HUSSEIN Obama to lessen any harsh sentiments sickens me. Well folks, if you enjoy someone who can lie smoothly, then vote for Clinton (oops, wrong presidency race) because the stuff spewing from Obama's mouth is a joke. I can't even keep track of the inconsistencies that make up this guy. For the life of me I simply cannot figure out why a majority of people are so in love with this guy, but when the Communist News Network (CNN) fall in love with this guy, one has to wonder.
I'm just going to start a list of the things that are bugging me tonight and we'll see if it makes any sense in the morning.

  1. Can't define what "change" is.
  2. Says what he thinks each audience wants to hear, regardless if a complete contradiction is the cost
  3. Doesn't know how many states are in the United states, seriously.
  4. Can't keep straight whether he's a Muslim or not
  5. Accepted illegal funds from Gaza, but that's ok.
  6. Basic questions are "above his pay grade"
  7. He takes a neutral or middle stance on most everything.
  8. 50 lies and counting (Google it).
  9. Media gets upset when people reference the middle name "HUSSEIN..." Why?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

If there was a pill that fixed stupid...well, you know...




In regards to the first picture, reference the second picture. I've put the first pic up before, I know. What am I saying? "I'm not sayin'..., I'm just sayin'."

Primaries are today, GET OUT THERE AND VOTE! Specifically, against the Events Center (for Nancy Erickson because everyone else is for the Events Center) against the 501 Levy (renewing MORE money for students for extra activities-we have enough taxes and enough activities), and that's all I have to say today, VOTE!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

#2

At long last baby boy number 2 entered our lives early Friday morning. Mom is tired and so is Dad, brother is excited and all are glad. I am actually too tired to think straight or write more, just thought I would make the announcement!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In Memory of the Fallen



Many different emotions still rise up within me any time I think or talk about my experiences in Iraq, good and bad. Nothing stirs those emotions more than when someone asks about one of the two black memorial bracelets I have had on my wrist every single day since several months after August 30th 2006. These memorial bracelets are worn in loving memory for two of our fallen brethren in Iraq. August 30th was the day the first of these gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Josh Hanson was a friend and brother. Some knew him better than others. I knew him as a quiet, but humorous fellow that I shared sweat and drinks with during training; he loved a good time; he loved his friends and family. I knew him best as the card player who always seemed to kick my butt. He was also one of the occasional reliefs from guard duty. He was one of the guys in every sense of the word. My heart goes out to his family and close friends on this day above all others.

I know many understand this, but I wish more Americans who “support our troops but not the war” understood that freedom isn’t free; it always comes at a price. That isn’t just true in America.

I’m sure I’ll see some of the guys out tonight at one of the pubs having our own memorial. Thanks Josh, for everything.

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:3

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It may be possible to stop the Event Center...

What if we could do something about the 30 year sales tax that just got extended by the city council without our approval? This is something that will effect our grandchildren. One old guy I talked to said, "well...we're only stalling the inevitable." I figure he's right, I mean, the soldiers at Thermopylae were only delaying the inevitable. The soldiers at Valley Forge were doing the same, not to mention the Alamo. This may not be a "battle" as most are fought, but it is a battle worth fighting. Even if it does only delay the inevitable. At the very least it will be a couple years I don't have to use my precious gas money for this cities every whim and desire. With the economy the way it is right now, the last thing we need are more taxes.

So, much has happened, and much can be said. One of the main and most important things is that the city council went ahead and voted 4-3 in favor of a 30 year 1/2% city sales tax extension. One of the council suggested it be put on a ballot this November for the people to vote on; since the construction of this event center now hinges on this OUTRAGEOUS 30 year tax extension, that council member was shot down. The vote was had and passed by a margin of one.

Since I and my fellow soldiers never got a chance to originally vote on this thing one way or another (and it passed by 40 something votes) it grieves me that the council would do this. However, there is hope. At the lake front on the 22nd of August from 12 noon to 9pm and the 23rd from 10am-2pm there will be a petition signing. If this petition gets a couple hundred names on it, we can see a ballot in the local November elections for the cancellation of the 30 year sales tax.

It wasn't so long ago and not too far away that some Americans actually did something about a bunch of tea in a harbor with a 1/2% sales tax on it. We may not be dumping anything in the lake this weekend, but we at least have a chance to DO something about this unwarranted theft of our moneys. Hope to see people that live in B-town doing some signing!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Political Twist



A picture is still worth a thousand words right?

Many will agree the most important weapon is the human mind. When that mind is running for president, watch out. Any nay-sayers out there that still think Barack Hussein Obama isn't tied in with any Islamic/terrorist organizations? Here's a news clip for you. Something about...oh yes, recieving illegal funds from a terrorist organization and trying to disguise it as an in country contribution.

""They're not going to be worried about the details and they won't mind if they break the law to get to the final result that they want," adds Schlussel. She believes it is a "major news story when a presidential candidate receives money from 'a bastion of Islamic terrorism.' And Schlussel argues that the media is "bending over backwards to help Barack Obama and cover up any negative news about him.""

Now wait a minute! I thought the media was fair and balanced...? They wouldn't slant the news would they? (Laughs).

You can read the full article here.
While I'm on the political swing I might as well throw this site up as well; it's a listing of 50 plus verifiable lies Barack Hussein Obama has been caught in. So far the only "lie" Bush has been blamed for is not finding WMD's, and we already covered that now didn't we?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

WMD's in Iraq

"Bush is a horrible president, he lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we're only there for the oil..." These are popular statements from the far left that I have heard everywhere. Statements such as these have arisen in many conversations I've had. Whether Bush is a "Horrible" president can be left to opinion, however the other two statements are born out of ignorance and I hope to educate.

If we really are/were there for the oil (and it's safe to say no one wants another oil embargo) then where are the fruits of those labors? Last time I filled up my tank I didn't see any sweet $1 per gallon oil.

Then, and more importantly please do some research on what a weapon of mass destruction is. 3 things can be a weapon of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and biological weapons. Well guess what, we found chemical and biological and the naysayers stated that those were old and didn't count. Well now it has come to the media's attention that "yellow cake" was found in Iraq and has been transported to Canada. Only 550 metric TONS. Found outside Baghdad, no big deal. Yellow cake by the way is Uranium, and no, it wasn't going to be used for electric power. Bush could have used this information to tell all the slanderers out there to take their wine and shove it, but he didn't, and I think that says a lot.

Well anyhow, I don't have much more to write on this issue, WMD's are bad news, they kept this country from learning Japanese and don't belong in outspoken terrorist nation's hands. Glad am I that we are cleaning that country up. Now, if we could just drop The bomb on Iran...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Watching the news

This may not make much sense when I'm done writing, but I'm just getting some inner thoughts off my chest, what else can one do?

I've been doing something I haven't done on a regular basis in a very long time; watching the news. There are many degrading things happening in our country, especially in California, that make me think this country is losing it's spine, at least publicly. Our presidential candidates this fall are limited to Evil and lesser Evil. But this is beside the point. The latest thorn in my side is the way the UN and America are handling Iran.

Iran has violated mandates over and over in uranium enrichment and nuclear research; this is supposed to be one of those smack down things= they develop anything nuclear, they get a smack down. However, no one has so much as given them a hand slap. Iran has now in it's possession a ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.K. not to mention Israel; the fear has never been so much focused on the payload as the delivery system. With the delivery system in place it is not that difficult for a nation of terrorists to get their hands on a payload.

I can only hope the Israelies will do what we have failed to do so far, lay the smack down on Iran like they have in the past. America has become so preoccupied with appearances that we have succumbed to sitting back and doing nothing. Putting out fires in Iraq means nothing if we don't remove the gas can sitting next to the flame. I fear that the only thing America has going for itself right now is supplying Israel with cool shiny "stuff" and living vicariously through them.

I can only hope that we are only doing this badly on the public front and are really poised for a strike behind the scenes. Though, with the upcoming elections I fear the only future preventative/proactive actions we will see, are strongly written reproaches and a firm backing of France.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A day in the life

Today marks the one year date of our big town welcome home from Iraq. It hardly seems possible that a whole year has gone by already. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Iraq, and I haven't yet decided if that is good or bad. Don't get me wrong, I don't like Iraq one bit, but it sure helps keep things in perspective. I'm rarely in a rush anymore, I don't get upset by the small things I used to, no one is trying to actively kill me, and I have all the water I want. Life is good.

Despite my gripes of taxes, event centers, lack of pills that fix stupid and the like, I am truely blessed to live in a free country. In an era when our freedoms begin to be questioned on a regular basis, I realize how many freedoms we still enjoy. I always find it mind boggling when people explain to me in all seriousness that they know what is going on in Iraq. Then I find it funny when I realize their sources of information are limited to the Communist News Network (CNN) and a limited perspective that doesn't allow for logic or reason.

Well, there are no more deep thoughts tonight, I just thought I should write something at the one year mark. Here's to our fallen brothers who gave the ultimate sacrafice, we think of you and your families always.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sparky


We got tased the other day. This can only be described as searing pain. This doesn't do it justice, but think of when your leg has fallen asleep and is tingling awake, then multiply that times infinity, and add the worst charlie-horse you've ever had to every muscle in your body, make it last for an eternity (a couple seconds) and you might have a minuscule amount of an idea of how much pain is involved.


Thankfully it's over fairly soon, (though when it's happening it's not soon enough!) and there really isn't any lasting effect, though I think my foot was tingling a couple hours after the fact.


As Alex and I have both stated, I think I'd take a taser every hour on the hour over getting sprayed again.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Back in action...sort of

Well folks, I haven't posted in a while, and now that I have the means to do so...here you go.

I will again commence with the many topics that drive me currently; evolution, event center, God, America, paper bags, and whatever else comes to mind. However, I am currently in a whirlwind that is Law Enforcement training. I have completed 5 of the 7 weeks of skills right now. We've done the cuffing, the defensive tactics, the driving fast, the classroom stuff and most of the shooting.

Last week we all got pepper sprayed. I was prepared to compare it to the military gas chamber with CS gas. However, I must say that it is 10x worse at least...Freeze +P does everything it is supposed to, 98% propellant and carrier, 1% CS (Tear gas) and 1% OC (Burning). It is a spray in the face can hardly be described...if I were to try it would be something like, "Choke choke, eyes clamp shut, gag, entire face on fire, can't breathe, snot draining everywhere, ouch, eyes won't work, TASTES LIKE BURNING!!!"
After getting maced we were then required to subdue and handcuff the "bad guy." Face and eyes kept burning for half hour or so.
Next week we get tased...I can't wait :( Oh well, it's all good, I mean, I'm paying for this right?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Informative

I fully plan on returning to the evolution topic. However, due to an assault on my laptop by my 2 year old with a glass of apple juice, my main means of blogging is out of comission for a little while. Once I have it back I'll be at it again. I know everyone is on pins and needles, so just hang in there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

...and so it begins

Fear not, we shall return to the crumbling theory of evolution. For now, I interrupt this program to bring those of you that care an update on the event center fiasco.

Do we NEED the event center, or do a few merely WANT it? In a time of recession and financial instability it would be foolish for a family to go out and buy a yacht merely because they want it. What’s the difference with the event center?

My water/sewage bill just jumped from $30 to $53. It used to be $18. Some could say that this is due to the rising cost of everything. I disagree, water price has almost TRIPPLED! While the letter that accompanied my increase stated that this was all Tim Pawlenty’s fault, I place the blame on the irresponsible spending of the city counsel, (*cough) $14 million land purchase for event center (*cough).

Now, Mr. Pawlenty can be blamed with allowing state funding for part of this to happen (with speculative under the table palm greasing). He was very firm day after day that he would not allow millions of dollars of state funding to go towards a glorified hockey rink. He stated this over and over after looking at the proposed plan. Then in [figurative] mid-sentence he embraced the event center as something the community needs.

I have nothing against improving the community, but helping the community could have come in many other forms; a REAL community event center, hospice care, homeless care, assisted living, after school activities for kids. Instead the counsel insists on chasing a fantasy that they can make millions on mythical businesses that will travel hundreds of miles to come to Bemidji in order to….?

It still amazes me that when the original study projected a $700,000 annual deficit, that the guy got canned, and a new studier and a new study miraculously projected a profit. If the community will benefit like they keep ranting IF this thing succeeds…. who will eat the cost if/WHEN it fails? I would have no problem with this if the ones pushing for it would take out a personal loan for it themselves, then they can do what they want with the profits. But when I am forced to support it like it or not….that’s a no go.

I still fail to see how this giant black hole will ever benefit the community. If (and it is a BIG if) this thing ever profits a penny, I doubt very much that I will see any kind of return on my lost money(s) that have been garnished through hiked water prices, increased sales tax, and doubled/triple property taxes.

What is my solution to all this? Well they couldn’t get the majority of Bemidji citizens to vote for this, and instead relied on the questionable validity of non land-tax paying BSU students who will be gone in 1-4 years. I can’t abide the thought that major COMMUNITY decisions are left to a bunch of barely legal adults who have no vested interest in this community. Therefore I must follow my own advice of, “If you don’t like it, get out.” So that is exactly what I will do. I will not sit around waiting for the next hike in local property tax. If I can find a job in a different community in the near future I will be getting out of this town. This saddens me, as I love my community. I cannot blame all for the errors of a few. I grew up here and have been treated well. I will always have a vested interest in her goings on.

The problem won’t go away though; taxes will inevitably follow me as state/county taxes increase to meet the demand of senseless spending. I wish I had been able to help with this in another way, but there is nothing left to do. I can hope the bottom falls out of this thing before the damage is done. Maybe this is all being said in the heat of the moment, maybe I will have a complete change of heart in the future. Maybe I will be proven wrong and will have to recant all that is said here, maybe it will be an astounding success that will stimulate Bemidji and balance the economy. But that has about as much chance of happening as gas going back down to $1.18 per gallon. Maybe after it is built and all fails it will simply stand with doors closed as a hollow permanent reminder of a moment of stupidity.
I sincerely wish there was a pill that fixed stupidity

Friday, April 25, 2008

Evolution

The idea of creation by an intelligent designer is important. It tells us that we have a purpose, that we are not a highly evolved animal. That there is a right and wrong, that there are consequences for actions. Without a creator, we are mere animals, and as such, we are just products of mere chance and survival of the fittest. Thus, we have no need for concepts such as self-sacrafice or love. We tell children they are nothing more than evolved animals, then wonder why we have school shootings and so many problems in the world.

Evolution is supported by speculation and even outright lies. The evidence that supposedly supports evolution is flawed and in many cases mere fantasy.

The single most misconceived concept among many I have talked with is the difference between macro evolution and micro evolution. The thought is that since micro evolution is observable, that it “proves” macro evolution. Not so. Micro evolution involves 3 important traits. #1 an outside stimulus causes change in certain traits of an animal (thicker beaks in Darwin’s finches). #2 once the outside stimulus has been removed, the change in trait will revert to its original state. #3 most importantly, NO CHANGE IN GENES HAS TAKEN PLACE. This is not macro evolution (change of one kind of animal to another, i.e. reptile to bird).

If I pound my fist against the floor, I may develop calluses due to the outside stimulus, but future generations will remain human, just as future generations of finches will remain birds. There are variations within kinds. A poodle and a Great Dane may be very different, but neither has produced a non-dog, only variations. Variations are pre-programmed for adaptability. This is evidence of a good design, not random chance.

This is enough of a mouthful to tackle for the time being, and we will progress in small chunks through this willful or learned ignorance that is evolution.

“Beer is associated with football, but it is not part of the actual sport of football. Evolution is associated with science, but it is not part of the actual sciences.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Question one

For some time now I have been attempting to organize a line of thoughts in my head, and ready or not here they come.

Is there one true God? I know the answer to this and I can answer some questions, however, I cannot judge others for their current conclusions, for this would contradict what I believe. Each person must figure it out for themselves. However, there is only one answer. The funniest thing I ever heard was someone who said that there could be more than one explanation for where we come from! That’s silly. Think about that statement.

Now, as its 6am, I’ll pose the first question that will inevitably lead to a debate on my favorite topic; evolution, which I’ll save for a later post. I will now pose a question and would like reader’s honest, WELL THOUGHT opinion on this.

Question- Who decides what is right and wrong (the question of morality)?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

An inconvenient truth

Quick note. I KNOW that war protesters are a very SMALL minority in this country and the media eats protests up because they are not unbiased in any way shape or form. I do know that the people of B-town and DL and countless other towns showed their true colors, by turning out in every town along our return route home last year, to wish her returning sons welcome in the best way they knew how, and we love every one of you for it. Now, for the true terrorists that would see their own country in ruin:

A few days back, I heard about an anti-war protest that went down in B-town. This definitely irritates me, not so much because of the protest itself, but because it is born out of ignorance. As long as the human race exists there will be those that believe that the world is full of sunshine and roses, that sheep and wolves can play nicely together if they could just sit down and talk and see how much they have in common, and damn anyone who dares disagree with their theology. The kind of people that think this world is a safe place where nothing bad will ever happen need to go visit a third world country once and see how nice Americans have it in their consumer driven bubble where a few good men and women keep them all safe.

Oh how quickly the tables can turn. When 9/11 happened, most everyone in America unified, even the house and senate. It was with one voice that we invaded Iraq, never has a vote been more unanimous. We forget all too soon that we are NOT in Iraq for Bush’s oil conspiracy. We did NOT go to Iraq for WMD’s alone. We DID go to eradicate a country of one of the vilest dictators the world has ever known, and save people from a regime that uses chemical weapons on its own people. We DID find WMD's contrary to popular belief (ask me later). I personally helped rescue a group of men from a torture house that had had things done to them that movie makers can only imagine. Horrors that make “Saw” look like Elmo’s world were done to them for no better reason than their beliefs (Sunni v Shiah). So, to you that “believe” we shouldn’t be in Iraq, know that if it weren’t for the soldier that you protest, you very might have your tongue removed for such a “blasphemous and heretical belief.”

I also say to the protester, if you think you “know” what is going on around the world, try getting your information from somewhere besides a liberal professor and the Communist News Network, like, say... GO THERE! For all you know Iraq is really a tropical lagoon and the Iraqi people are really squid-like beings from a different planet sent here to (insert conspiracy here). But how would you know?

I love it when someone says they strongly “believe” in something. Not that I don't have my own beliefs, just never mind that very few have had an education. By this I do NOT mean academia. I know people who have masters and PhD’s who might have knowledge, but severely lack wisdom. Not to downgrade education, but in a system based on freedom (expression, press, religion etc.) we are actually told indirectly what to think and believe. The public and private school system is quickly turning into indoctrination units much like those of Russia and North Korea. You are encouraged when you spew forth the rhetoric “they” have taught you, and scorned and ridiculed when you deviate by expressing such “out-dated values” like Responsibility (why be responsible when you can be the victim?) Hard work (why do that when you can leech off of others through the system) and Country (love it or leave it, you flag burning “other” language speaking yellow bellied commies!)

It is my opinion that man is inherently evil, that without a “belief” in God and a judgment in the hereafter there is no alternative than to believe we are nothing more than highly “evolved” matter= animals, and we will act as such. I am not being a pessimist, nor do I live a life looking for the bad in everything, I am just a person and sometimes realist who believes that sometimes “it is what it is.” I don’t have all the solutions, even with my beliefs based on observation and experience, I know that plain and simple, shit happens, and people in other countries have the right to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness just like you and me.

So if you ever see someone in an alley getting gang raped by a bunch of thugs, you can turn your head the other way and say to yourself that no one is getting raped, that you really aren’t the police, so why get involved? Then, when a different citizen does something
about what is happening right before your eyes, you can protest the entire scenario, because you are safe and sound, and after all, you “know” what is going on. That citizen who “looks” like he is helping is merely after the victim’s wallet, never mind the fact that he caved in the skulls of two thugs and sent the other one running down an alley soaked in his own urine, afterwhich he helped the victim to the hospital.

This is why I raise an eyebrow when someone tells me that they support the troops but not the war. How can you like the loaf of bread but dislike flour?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Gathering

Last Monday was the day we picked to dedicate in remembrance to one of our fallen brothers. It was a solemn occasion. We had fun as we know he would want us to do, but certain songs would come up on the juke box that brought silence to the group and had us contemplating each his own thoughts. Many toasts were given, many a slow nod of the head observed. Strong hand clasps and several hugs were bestowed on each arriving Drifter that showed up. Fitting that a year to the day was Easter Sunday, reminding me that I will see him again in the not to distant future. Still, as we remembered Greg R. on Monday, it was in bitter sweet recollection that we saluted a friend and brother who gave the ultimate sacrafice.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:13

Monday, March 03, 2008

Event center...again

I am back to work once again, and while you would think I would have more important things to think about, my mind keeps wandering back to the Event Center fiasco.
My numbers might not be perfect, but last check showed that $14 million had been allotted from city coffers to be put towards part of the land purchase. The land purchase in and of itself raises an eyebrow, but that is for another time.

The issue I’m looking at again is the spending habits of our city council and their priorities. It has come to my attention that the hospital is in need of a hospice facility for Bemidji residents in their last days on earth. Projected costs were around $1 million. Interesting, the city didn’t have any money, fresh out.

The city could also use several other things, but I don’t know if they were put forth or not. Even if they were, darn (snaps fingers) there’s just no money.

Roads need fixing? Too bad, there just aren’t enough funds.

This ties into something else….kind of.
I needed to renew my license the other day, had to pay like a $20 “fee.” Now I know this is nothing new, but one would think that after my income is taxed, my gas is taxed; the city has a new sales tax (that isn’t going away like they said it would, weird), land taxes went up, I get hit with capital gains tax whenever I make an extra buck on the side (22% depending). That’s just the short list people! Then after all my money has been ripped from me I have to pay a stupid FEE for a license. A fee for a truck that I paid taxes on when I bought, that I pay a FEE to get tabs every year, and now another FEE for a license renewal. Where does it end?

I know taxes are helpful in some areas, but when you see actual needs being disregarded in favor of some fluffy wish list that “may” bring in some extra revenue “someday” in the future it’s enough to make my blood boil. Enough said (for now).

Friday, February 22, 2008

From a friend about a friend

I was talking with one of my buddies last night about our latest guard drill, and reminiscing about certain “training” we had.

Among many other things, we were reorganized into different squads, mixed with many new guys, and put on classes to train them up.

We covered some basic stuff, and it was interesting to say the least. In one of these classes was a brief trade of conversation that I got to hear about second hand, the content of which made my day.

Sgt C- draws a line on a display board. He then draws several circles with single lines going straight down from the circles.

Sgt C says, “I don’t have to tell you what this is, but it’s a team of men by a road…”

Bull says- “Awe man, I thought it was a bunch of lollypops floating down the river of happiness, now you just ruined my day.”

I just couldn’t stop laughing.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Love it or Leave it.

I am not only disturbed, but appalled by the goings on in Berkeley California. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, you can watch the coverage

Here



You will see the city council of Berkeley call the Marines “Gangsters of the government” and Marine recruiters a tool that “Bombards our young people with propaganda” that they are “perpetrating a war that is unconstitutional.” Citizens then say we are mass murderers in Iraq (getting us confused with Saddam I think). How can someone “know” something about what’s going on “over there” when the only things they know is what they hear from the mass media?

Another woman says that once Marines defended America, like in WWIII. Um, what’s different about what we did at Normandy and Iraq? There was catastrophic troop losses then compared to now. No one asked us to save France from a ruthless dictator, but we helped. What’s the difference in Iraq? Again, media opinion. This biased opinion has in turn shaped and molded the opinions of many Americans. I believe it used to be called treason?

Well, people are mostly set in their ways already, but watching this clip made my blood boil a little bit. People live in their happy fuzzy little world with bunnies and flowers and rainbows, where nothing ever happens. Then these same people, who haven’t done anything for anyone besides themselves attempt to condemn those that protect their very freedoms that they abuse. I don’t need to remind anyone of the old poem that talks about this. But I’ll throw it in anyway.

IT IS THE SOLDIER
It is the Soldier, not the minister Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

It is people like those at Berkeley that give rise to traitors such as Jane Fonda. People who will stop at nothing to see the degradation of American values of freedom from oppression, and the right to liberty. Are these freedoms for Americans alone? I think the right to life and liberty are human values, and every human has those rights, despite what people might think of a policy that helps those in need. But I forgot, we’re over there for oil.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Drink water and watch those urban legends.

This is a duel post.
Anyone who knows me, knows the importance I place on water consumption. Sometimes my opinion on this borders on the point of annoying. However, it has come to my attention, that very few people are educated on the importance of drinking water.

My wife used to have frequent headaches. Upon meeting me, she became well aquainted with my water intake regime. She was even desperate enough to actually try drinking a glass of water. Presto chango, 80% of her headache problems have ultimately vanished.

Typically by the time you are thirsty, you are already at least 10% dehydrated. Unfortunately, when most people get a headache, they pop a pill. Doctors say that the water you swallow taking that pill, actually helps more than the pill itself. Even if the pill works, you are only treating the symptom of your body screaming, "Hey you! Drink some water will you?" When people do drink something nowadays, it's usually pop/soda. Not helpfull. Not that these beverages won't help in intense heat environments (I should know), but they need to be well ballanced.

From my experience, the whole 8-10 glasses of water is excessive during cooler months. But the average adult should be drinking AT LEAST a liter of water a day. That's four 8 ounce glasses. That is not a lot of water people, but if you are honest with yourself, how many of you drink even one glass of WATER a day. Not juice, not pop, but water...?

Just a thought, try drinking some delicious H2O and see how much better you feel.

That was lengthy, but let me tack this on the end about Urban Legends. Check those gossip ridden emails. They get peoples blood boiling over nothing (sometimes). Especially concerning troop related issues. If you get an email, no matter how probable it sounds...check it on snopes.com at the very least. It is a respected and fairly well reputed website for checking different rumors out.

Just one for instance is that Starbucks doesn't support the troops (email from a Marine). Untrue. You can read about that one at Starbucks

However, it is true that Caribou Coffee is majority owned (87%) by an Islamic organization who's philosophy is, "Above all, ensuring that all activities conform to Islamic Shari'ah."



So, in review, #1 Drink Water #2 Watch those rumor emails #3 Hillary cries when under pressure...hmm

Monday, January 07, 2008

Thoughts, and the event center


My blog has turned into something I do just for the sake of writing. From time to time I may feel the urge to dredge up an old war story or two, but mostly I need an excuse and a reason to write. I hope to one day to do some sort of professional writing. I do not yet know what that will be exactly. But a good writer is both well read and well written. This is one of several ways I simply practice writing.

I will be entering a writing competition shortly. I’m thinking about doing a piece on a fictional story in Iraq from the eyes of a terrorist. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, if anyone has any requests, topics, discussion or ideas they would like to hear me write about, feel free to comment and I shall determine if I have the time or desire to write about/on it.

Right now the only thing on my mind is the local event center that has plagued our city leaders in the form of an ugly monolith disguised as sunshine and roses. Maybe this event center is indeed a good thing, but right now all I can see is a $50 million project that certain people want without regards to the average taxpayer or the potential consequences.

As I have voiced/typed my opinion in online forums in the past, I have been called “Unpatriotic” (they were apparently safely in their homes with hands over ears and eyes when I got off the bus July 22nd after being gone somewhere for two years…) and a “hindrance to progress.” I take these as compliments, further attesting to my superhuman powers to point out the obvious to people that would rather live in a fantasy world where healthcare is free, taxes are something only rich people pay, and everyone is a victim who can blame someone else for all their problems and poor choices in life (failing that you can always call names and make character attacks).

The main argument is that this center will bring in a lot of revenue for the city. That’s all well and good. How does this help me? I know I’ll be paying taxes for it. The first assessor said it wouldn’t ever pay for itself. That assessment was quickly thrown aside in favor of one that agreed with the plan the infamous “they” had in mind. My question is this; if somehow this does make money through rentals to out of town businesses, will my taxes go down? Will I get reimbursed for the moneys I have been forced to shell out? Of course not! The argument is that I personally won’t have to pay for this, that the state will pay for a chunk of it. I counter with the question, “Where does the state get its money?” Answer, land taxes (in part) and who pays land taxes? I do! Along with a lot of people who voted NO to this thing…oops, I didn’t get to vote, I was busy in some giant sand box. How much did it pass by? 41 votes. How many of us were gone….? Interesting thought.
Oh, and who made the majority vote pass on this? Temporary students that were bussed in from the college to vote. Students who don’t pay land taxes, and who won’t even be here in a couple years to bear the burden of new taxes needed to support this “thing.”

Now the city council during a workers meeting suddenly changed the meeting into a final push to solidify the decision to make this $50 mil event center a reality (it was on the radio all day yesterday). When one person raised the motion that they wait 10 days so they could talk about it without being so hasty, that person was shot down with the response “We aren’t going to wait any longer.” These kinds of sentiments don’t seem prudent, and certainly don’t signify good leadership or stewardship of the people’s money.

Speaking of money, an extension has been requested on the local tax increase. I'm noticing a trend...

I wish there was more I could do than rant on my blog about this issue that is so close to home for me. Get a petition going, a court injunction…anything. (Any thoughts or ideas out there anyone?) I have so much to say on this subject, but I’m sure I lost peoples interest with lengthy text long ago. But that’s ok; this is helping me get it off my chest.

Conclusion: this is indeed a big issue for me. However, if this is the worst thing I have to think about compared to the last two years, things are all right.