Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jerusalem Recognized By US As Israel's Capital - Let The Violence Begin

Yesterday, President Trump announced that he would be the first President in the 22 years since the policy was implemented to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The bill authorizing it was signed by Bill Clinton in 1995, then ignored by Clinton, Bush and Obama. None of them wanted to irritate the Palestinians (nor the Muslim world) so they simply waved it off every time it came up. Donald Trump said "Enough of that."

The Palestinians have said this will end the peace process. What peace process? They haven't been interested in peace between Israel and themselves unless they get an Iran deal. You know - where they get everything and Israel gets nothing. Other Muslim nations are upset about it as well. Hamas and the Palestinian leadership are already calling for violence and an "intifada."

Know what? I don't care. Let the Muslims be angry. I've been angry at many of them for a long time - ever since a group of them attacked the United States in 2001 and they rest didn't rise up as a whole to condemn that attack and prevent future attack.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for over 3000 years. And no matter what Islam says - that fact remains. Israel could have taken it by force but they did not. They could take over control of the Temple Mount by force but they haven't done it.

If the Muslim world wants peace there's a way to achieve it. They need to join together as a whole and denounce Quran dictated jihad, caliphate and terrorism, and fight against all of them worldwide. But they refuse to do that. So I don't care if they're angered by Trump's announcement.

I do worry about the people of the incredible city of Jerusalem. I have no doubt that Islamic terrorist attacks will increase following this announcement and, even though it was praised by Benjamin Netanyahu, it will increase the danger to Israelis all across Israel. Rocket attacks by Hamas in Gaza will likely increase as well. But the Jews are willing to take the chance in order to reclaim their rightful city as their own. And I'm good with that.

May God bless Israel, her people and leadership, and President Trump for taking this historic and courageous step. The Palestinians now have a chance to either move forward with peace talks or stubbornly say "There will never be peace" and continue their attacks on Israel. Netanyahu could virtually destroy Hamas if he invaded Gaza - but he won't do that because invading Gaza is not what he wants to do."

Radical Muslims are the root of the violence in Israel, throughout the Middle East and the world. If they want peace they need to police their own. Otherwise they leave it up to the Western World to do that policing. And things get ugly....

Friday, December 1, 2017

Why The San Francisco Verdict Was Wrong

Yesterday's verdict in the Kate Steinle murder case in San Francisco was wrong.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon. He was found not guilty of all charges except illegal possession of a gun. This verdict, regardless of the jury's reasoning, was wrong. And here's why:

Jose Zarate was in the country illegally. During that time he admits that he fired a gun that ultimately killed Kate Steinle. Whether or not he intended to do it makes a difference only in the degree of which crime he should be found guilty of but in the least, killing a woman when you're here illegally (for the sixth time) would be involuntary manslaughter. If you commit a crime while in the process of committing another you can and should be found guilty of both.

I have no idea how the prosecutor failed to prove his case to the jury. Personally, I believe the jury, being from San Francisco (one of the sanctuary capitols of the country) was tainted by the ridiculous belief that Zarate had a right to be there regardless of federal law. He was in violation of federal law and ICE had requested that he be held until they picked him up. He should never have been released to the streets. Kate Steinle's blood is on the hands of the city of San Francisco and the county Sheriff's Office that released Zarate.

Zarate's attorney immediately went political after the verdict, criticizing President Trump and saying that it was “a vindication for immigrants.” I've got news for him. Legal immigrants don't need vindication and illegal immigrants need to be prosecuted. California's blatant disregard for federal law has reached the critical point with this verdict. Yet they still demand the federal government continue to give them federal funding, as if they deserve it.

I lived in California for a total of five years in the 1980s and truly love the state. But the liberal government has changed it so much I would never return there to live. And now that their government has let us know that illegal immigrants not only have the same civil rights as US citizens but won't be held accountable for the crimes they commit I probably won't even visit anymore.

The Justice Department is looking into charging Zarate. They can charge him with involuntary manslaughter despite the California verdict since it will be a federal charge. They can also convict him of illegal re-entry and imprison him for two years on that conviction alone. Either way, they need to get him out of the hands of California authorities.

I'm wondering if Jose Zarate will do any state time for the one crime of which he was convicted. Or will California give him time served and release him before the federal government can pick him up? That wouldn't surprise me at all, given where he is.

Jerry Brown should be proud today. His liberal sanctuary law has worked in favor of a killer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Some Truth About Correctional Workers

Some of you know that after the Air Force I spent my career working in federal prisons. I started at a maximum security penitentiary (USP Lompoc) and worked every other level of prison over 22 years. Did a 3 year stint at USP Leavenworth as well.
Working in prisons can and does change you. As the unknown author of the paragraphs below explains, these changes are a coping mechanism to help one deal with the ugly things one sees working with the dregs of society.
Fortunately for me, I was able to retire 10 years ago, have allowed God to intervene in my life and He has wiped away any PTSD I may have suffered from my career.
But there is a lot of truth in the words below, as my BOP coworkers will attest. Working in prisons is not for everyone. Just like police officers on the streets, it takes a special kind of person to work inside the walls and fences that house those who couldn't function normally in society.
Here is an explanation of it that I wish I'd written. I thought it important enough to share and wish I knew who the author was.
"Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that they see and do, they lose their innocence, and a piece of their humanity with it. If they want to survive, they begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monsters they fight. It is necessary. They become capable of rage, and extreme violence.
"There is a fundamental difference, however. They keep those monster tendencies locked away in a cage, deep inside. That monster is only allowed out to protect others, to accomplish the mission, to get the job done - not for the perverse pleasure that the monsters feel when they harm others. In fact, those monster tendencies cause damage...GUILT, ISOLATION, DEPRESSION, PTSD.
"There is a cost for visiting violence on others when you are not a monster. Those who do so know one thing - the cost inflicted upon society as a whole is far greater without those who fight monsters. That is why they are willing to make that horrible sacrifice so that others may live peaceably.
Before you judge one of us, remember this...
"We witness things that humans aren't meant to see, and we see them repeatedly. We perform the duties that you feel are beneath you. We solve your problems - often by visiting violence upon others. We run towards the things that you run away from. We go out to fight what you fear. We stand between you and the monsters that want to damage you. You want to pretend that they don't exist, but we know better. We do the things that the vast majority are too soft, too weak, too cowardly to do.
"Your life is more peaceful, because of us.
"The current political climate in this country holds that there is nothing worth fighting for. Submission is the popular mantra. Warriors are decried, denigrated, and cast as morally inferior. We know how childish, how asinine, and how cowardly that mindset is.
"We know this - there ARE things worth fighting, and dying for. We know that not every problem can be solved through rational discourse - that some problems can only be solved through the application of force and violence. And, while we do prefer the former, we are perfectly capable of the latter.
We believe that fighting what others fear is honorable, noble, and just - and we are willing to pay the price for that deeply held belief. Why? For us, it isn't a choice...
It is what we are. We are simply built that way."
~ Author Unknown

Saturday, November 18, 2017

To The Political Left - Clean Up Your Own House First

I find it fascinating that so many liberal/progressive actors, producers and politicians are being outed as sex offenders yet so few of them are actually facing any consequences for their behavior. Many of them have actually admitted to the disgusting behavior but they've said “I'm sorry,” as if that should make it all better.

I also find it fascinating that in light of what's going on with liberals/progressives in Hollywood and Washington DC, people on the left are pointing to a lewd statement that Donald Trump made 11 years ago and pretending that it's just as bad as the actual physical misconduct perpetrated by their own kind.

Just as in the Roy Moore case, there has never been any evidence that President Trump did anything wrong other than make a lewd statement. There are no women claiming that he actually acted out on that statement or did anything inappropriate or illegal to any woman. But that fact doesn't seem to matter to those who will defend the celebrities and politicians on the left and condemn Trump's statement as somehow worse.

The actual picture of Al Franken's misdeed is less than convincing to me. The woman is wearing a bulletproof vest and it really doesn't look like his hands are actually touching her. If I was a jury at his trial that picture wouldn't convince me of his guilt. His confession and apology, however? That does it for me.

Kevin Spacey has admitted to illicit contact with young boys. Why has he not been arrested? Harvey Weinstein may be arrested one day. At least the police are investigating it and there is video evidence of him confessing to an assault on a woman.

Bill Clinton was accused of rape, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, etc., yet he was President for two terms and the women who accused him were all but destroyed by Hillary Clinton and the media. Hillary said last year that all women who claim they were sexually assaulted deserved to be believed. But apparently that's not the case when the alleged assaulter is her husband.

Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault by several women yet no one has produced any evidence to verify that it happened. The “yearbook” presented by Gloria Allred last week appears to have a forged signature of Roy Moore in it but Ms. Allred will not release the yearbook for examination. Gee, what does that indicate? If her “evidence” was sound why would she have a problem with it being verified?

Donald Trump made a lewd comment. That's it. It was a stupid and childish thing for him to say but then, he's been known to say childish things since then. Does his statement make him a sex offender? Only to the hypocrites on the left who ignore the behavior of their own but who scrupulously examine everything President Trump says and does.

To the left I say “Clean up your own house before you tell others what to do.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Veterans' Day

Tomorrow, November 11th, is Veterans' Day. It is a day set aside to honor those who have served in our country’s armed forces during both peacetime and wartime.  Veterans’ Day doesn’t ask where you served, what your rank was, or what branch of the military you were in, it merely says “Thank you for your service” by way of a national holiday.

There is an old saying that “A veteran is someone who, at some point in his/her life, writes a check payable to “The people of the United States of America” for the amount of “Up to and including my life.” No truer words were ever spoken. Not all service members realize the depth of their commitment to their country when they take that oath but they promise to defend America at all costs.

I didn't really realize it until a friend thanked me for my service several years ago. She thanked me for volunteering my life to protect her, her family and the country. I honestly never thought about it in that way before that.

I signed the enlistment papers at the age of 19. I had no career plans to speak of, no interest in college, and wanted to do something different to get me through that awkward period between high school and adulthood.

I took my very first airplane ride on May 31, 1977, to basic training in San Antonio, Texas. I remember being impressed with the meal they served us during the trip. That was back when the airlines gave you more food than you could actually eat.

A bus ride to Lackland Air Force Base, falling in on the painted footprints in the parking lot, then in-processing and a briefing before we went to the dining hall. Then we went to our barracks and got our assigned beds and some sleep – as if that was possible given my day.

We got up early the next morning and I celebrated my 20th birthday with a G.I. haircut (as was the style then – most of us had long hair), immunizations and uniform issue. By the end of the day we all looked like we belonged. Newbies, of course, but we didn't look so out of place.

Basic Training was pretty easy. We did a lot of running and stretching and no pushups. I was a little disappointed with the lack of hard physical training since I had been doing numerous pushups in preparation for this. I had also been running every day so that part was easy.

Fast forward to technical school in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas, about 2 hours North of where I live today. At the time there wasn't much in Wichita Falls. My parents came to visit me about the third week I was there. They stayed two days while we looked around the area and said “We're sorry. We're leaving. There is nothing here that really interests us except you.” They headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for the rest of their vacation. I've been to Hot Springs. I can't blame them for that at all.

I got orders to go to Wiesbaden, Germany, following tech school but I did so well in my academics, training to be a medic, I was offered a job working in the hospital at the prestigious Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Some of my buddies said I should pass that up because I'd be walking around all day saluting everyone. As it turns out, it was one of the most lax assignments I had.

I developed a love for emergency medicine while there and ended up working in the ER at all three of my Air Force assignments. I became an EMT, a CPR instructor, an Advanced Cardiac Life Support provider and an ACLS instructor, all courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. I worked in the ER at the Academy, Vandenburg AFB in California, and eventually, Wiesbaden, Germany.

In Germany I was issued a gas mask and a Geneva Convention card. We trained regularly to use them in case we actually went to war. It made it a little more real for me but it was still just a job for the most part.

When I went to Germany my wife was active duty at Vandenburg and she followed me there about nine months later. Our son was born in the Wiesbaden Regional Medical Center in June of 1984.

They say you are never properly prepared for your first child but late in 1983 I was moved from the ER to be the NCOIC of the Pediatrics Ward in the hospital. I got hands on training with babies every day. But the night my son was born the doctor asked if I wanted to deliver him. I said no. I had no doubt I could deliver anyone else's baby but was scared to death to deliver my own.

One of the things we had to do after our son was born was sign a paper designating who would take over care of our son in case we got deployed in war time. Since both of us were active duty it was possible we could both be deployed if necessary. So we had to sign a form telling the Air Force who would get custody of our son if we were sent off to war.

In the early Spring of 1985 we traveled home on leave for the first time as a family. My wife had gotten out of the Air Force when her enlistment was up (she didn't much like signing that form) and she decided, since I was due to get out in September, she and my son would stay in California with her parents. She didn't really want to go back as a civilian and a stay-at-home mom.

So I headed back to do my last six months alone. I missed my son's first birthday. My bosses wanted me to stay and offered me a job as the NCOIC of the Emergency Room but I turned them down. I wanted to be with my family. I left in August with 30 days of “terminal leave,” using up the last of my accrued leave time. My official discharge date was in September.

I waited in Ohio for my car to arrive in New Jersey and rode the bus up to pick it up. I drove from New Jersey to California in five days, spending the first night with family and the other three with different friends from the Air Force.

One thing I can say about the Air Force – I made some terrific life-long friends. I was at the Academy for four years, Vandenburg for 18 months, and Germany for nearly 3 years. I am still in close touch with people from all three but particularly with a group of incredible people I met in Germany. We get together every two years for a reunion. They are some of the best friends I've ever had.

I'm proud of my time in the Air Force and would do it all over again if I could.

Thank you to all of my fellow veterans. Your service may have been during war time or peace time but it was important and we as a nation are grateful to you. God bless America and our military services.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

More Laws Won't Prevent A Shooting Like Sutherland Springs

I was listening to the radio this morning and heard an update on the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting. Survivors of the shooting say that after the initial volleys of bullets, after many people were already dead and/or wounded, the shooter began targeting crying infants and toddlers, searching them out and executing them.

I had tears in my eyes as I listened to the horrid details. What kind of monster does it take to deliberately shoot innocent children as they cry for their wounded or dead parents? There is no doubt in my mind that Satan himself was in this man's heart as he committed those evil acts. And President Trump was right when he said the incident was a mental health issue rather than a gun issue.

Over one third of Americans say they or someone in their household owns at least one firearm. That's 106.6 million legal gun owners. Given that there were at least two shootings in Texas that day and no doubt several dozen others across the country, that means that 106.59 million gun owners did not shoot anyone on Sunday. And those are the statistics every day. Legal/licensed gun owners do not go out and commit mass murder. Most of them never fire their weapon anywhere except on the range.

More laws will only make it tougher for law-abiding citizens to purchase and/or retain their weapon(s). Bad guys like Devin Kelley don't follow the law. He lied about his criminal conviction on his background check application. Sadly, the U.S. Air Force failed to enter his conviction into NICS so he passed the background check. But only because he lied.

In like manner Dylan Roof, the Charleston S.C. shooter, had a criminal conviction for drugs and his information was inadvertently not entered into NICS. He should not have been able to purchase a firearm either, let alone two. But a government screw up allowed him to lie on his background check and buy guns.

So why do people think more laws will help when bad guys don't abide by the law(s) and the government sometimes doesn't do its job in ensuring the laws are enforced and all information is entered into the system as required. No, I'm not blaming the shootings on the government. But at least two of the recent shooters would have been unable to obtain a gun through regular channels had the government agencies done what what was required of them.

Texas Senator John Cornyn plans to introduce legislation aimed at ensuring all federal agencies upload required conviction records into NICS. It's already a requirement for all federal law enforcement agencies to do this. Do we need a law? And if a conviction gets overlooked somehow are we going to prosecute the responsible person and put them in jail?

According to news sources, Devin Kelley escaped from a mental health facility while still in the Air Force. He had been sent there after assaulting his wife and fracturing his baby stepson's skull. He had also attempted to smuggle firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in an attempt to carry out death threats he had made against his military superiors.

The guy obviously had mental health issues. And I think it's incumbent on our legislators to figure out a way to prevent people like this from legally obtaining firearms. I have no problem with preventing someone who has proved himself/herself a danger to others from legally buying a gun. That's about the only law that would be common sense. Outlawing semiautomatic rifles won't prevent gun deaths. It will only cause people to use a different weapon.

Laws only work for law-abiding citizens. More laws won't keep bad guys from obtaining guns. If that was the case Chicago would be the safest city in the United States.

More gun laws may have prevented the hero of Sutherland Springs from stopping the shooter's progress, thereby potentially increasing the number of dead and wounded on Sunday. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.

More laws will prevent good guys from having guns. They do absolutely nothing to the bad guys. The sooner the left figures that out the better.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Let's Get Rid Of Everything We Think Is Racist!

Friday on the radio I heard a local talk show host, Rick Roberts, talking about the Confederate statues being removed in Dallas and around the country, and schools and streets named after Confederates are being renamed. Rick got to thinking out loud about what else we should do away with because it relates to the South or the Confederacy. Here were some of the suggestions.

Elvis Presley once recorded “Dixie.” You know the one.

“Oh, I wish I were in the land of cotton.
Old times there are not forgotten.
Look away, look away, look away,

Elvis was obviously a racist to record a song like that.

Hank Williams, Jr. also made the list. He recorded a song called “Dixie On My Mind.” Obviously, any man who thinks of Dixie like that is a racist. We need to do away with Old Bocefus and his music.

The band Alabama recorded “Song Of The South.” What could be more racist than that?

And Lynard Skynard puts Confederate flags on at least some of their album covers. So they're gone as well.

My question since this whole “Remove the Statues” campaign began has been “Where does it stop?”

When we start removing harmless (and priceless) pieces of history, which these two things certainly are, where does it stop? Do we ban songs and recording artists who record “the wrong song?” Do we start removing books from libraries because they contain controversial stories?

A school district in Mississippi has removed Harper Lee's classic book “To Kill A Mockingbird,” a novel about racial inequality and hatred, because some people complained about some of the words in the book. (The book is still in the library.) Yet I would bet that those people complaining hear those same words from their favorite musical artists and/or comedians and that's perfectly OK.

A church in Arlington, Virginia, removed to name plates and a couple of plaques that were placed in the church as historical tributes to two of their more well known members – George Washington and Robert E. Lee. They said some parishoners were refusing to return to church because the plaques make them feel “unsafe.” Really?

I wonder how long they had attended the church before they decided they felt unsafe? Did they attend before the NFL players began taking a knee? And has anyone asked them how an inanimate historical plaque threatens them?

Where does it stop? Where does political correctness end and dealing with real life begin?

History does not change simply because you remove things that depict how things were or that honor brave men (and women) who lived extraordinary lives. The sooner people stop being offended by history and allowing for the fact that our past can't be changed to suit them the better off the nation will be.

By the way - the best part of the conversation was when he said “The Dixie Chicks – just their name is racist. But we don't need to get rid of them – they pretty much did that on their own.”